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Packet inspection/traffic management

DPI Specialist Raises $27M

French network intelligence specialist Qosmos has raised €19.8 million (US$27.4 million) in its fourth round of funding, saying the money will be used for expansion in North America and Asia/Pacific, further product development and possibly even for acquisitions. (See Qosmos Closes €19.8M Funding Round.)

The round, which takes the company's total funding to €32 million ($44.3 million) over four rounds since 2004, was co-led by DFJ Esprit LLP , Fonds Stratégique d’Investissements (FSI) and Alven Capital. (See Qosmos Raises First Round.)

Qosmos, which doesn't reveal its revenues but claims to be growing (by 40 percent year-on-year in 2010) and profitable since 2009, has developed what it calls Network Intelligence technology. Based on deep packet inspection (DPI) capabilities, this technology analyzes data traffic and identifies network activity "metadata" that can be used for detailed analysis of subscriber behavior.

The company supplies its network probes and software development kit (SDK) to network equipment vendor and systems integrators that can develop their own end products or integrate the technology into existing Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) platforms. (See EXFO Adds a DPI Twist, HP Integrates Qosmos Into Dragon and Vedicis Integrates Qosmos.)

Qosmos says its technology can be used to enhance products for traffic optimization, QoS management, policy control, real-time charging, cyber security, lawful intercept and audience research, amongst others.

Why this matters
For a specialist SPIT company, €19.8 million is a decent round of funding and shows that the investors have faith not only in the company's management team but also in the market.

And there's every sign that the market should be strong for Qosmos, which has developed technology that goes beyond the reach of many regular DPI platforms -- it even has a joint solution partnership relationship with major DPI vendor Allot Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT).

That's because network operators, especially mobile operators that are just seeing significant growth in 3G traffic and plan to launch LTE services, need analytics tools that can provide them with as much detailed information as possible so they can properly set their network and subscriber policy rules, develop relevant marketing strategies and counter the growing operational and security threats that come hand-in-hand with data traffic growth. (See Policy 2011: Hot, But Getting Crowded and Intelligence & Analytics.)

Qosmos's funding is also the latest in a series of financial events involving network intelligence specialists. In April, EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) acquired NetWitness, a network security analysis specialist that had developed its technology using DPI capabilities. And in May, test and measurement vendor Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG acquired ipoque GmbH , a German traffic management specialist with years of DPI experience. (See Ipoque Intros Starter DPI and Ipoque Launches Policy Enforcer.)

Expect to hear plenty about network intelligence, subscriber management, DPI and policy management during the upcoming Broadband World Forum 2011 show in Paris, which has a day-long set of conference sessions on traffic management on Sept. 29.

For more on network analytics and subscriber management, see:

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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