Cisco has invested in Sprint OSS/BSS partner ItsOn, helping contribute to its recent $20 million in Series C funding, the company announced on Wednesday.
ItsOn Inc. is a relatively new player in the OSS/BSS market, making a name for itself this summer as Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)'s billing partner of choice, a position it won from launching an MVNO on Sprint's network to show off its services in 2013. It says it will use the cash from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s investment arm, part of its second round of Series C funding, for expansion outside the US. (See Sprint Chooses ItsOn for OSS/BSS.)
Cisco has taken an interest in the company as it provides complementary policy services and fits in the networking giant's plan to move from hardware to more flexible software systems. ItsOn operates in the cloud, letting operators change service plans and make policy decisions on the fly, which meshes with Cisco's shared interest in NFV for OSS/BSS functions. (See Where to Put Your VNFs.)
Considering Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC)'s recent acquisition of MetraTech for similar OSS/BSS help, this could just be the start of Cisco's interest in ItsOn. (See Ericsson Goes Beyond Telecom with MetraTech Acquisition.)
The funding comes as ItsOn is also announcing an update to its Smart Services platform ahead of Super Mobility Week in Las Vegas. Now, in addition to device-based service plan creation and policy management, which lets users select new plans and tweak their existing ones directly from their devices, ItsOn is adding network-based support that enables operators to push new plans and services, shape traffic and engage users on any Android or iOS device.
"We're able to enhance network quality with granular traffic control, so traffic that means more to the end user gets a higher priority, and we can control traffic based on the network, WiFi offload or roaming control," ItsOn CEO Greg Raleigh explained to Light Reading earlier this summer. "It's application-aware control of traffic."
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading