Policy Specialists Squeezed by Vendor Giants
The market for policy server products based on Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) and related standards grew by a whopping 52 percent in 2011 to be worth almost $490 million, with further significant annual growth to come during the next five years, according to a new Policy and DPI Market Tracker report from Heavy Reading .
But specialist vendors are finding their market opportunities increasingly squeezed by the major telecom equipment vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Nokia Networks and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , according to the report.
"In the policy server market, we believe that the major telecom equipment vendors saw faster growth, as a whole, than specialist vendors. ... Much of the momentum for these major vendors has come from their position as suppliers of core network equipment such as GGSNs, which has pulled through a lot of new policy business," notes the report's author, Heavy Reading Chief Analyst Graham Finnie.
Those same large vendors, plus the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), now account for more than half of the policy server and deep packet inspection (DPI) sector covered by the report, a market that was worth more than $1 billion in 2011 and which is due to grow to about $2.7 billion by 2016. (See Policy & DPI: $1B Spree, But No Picnic for Vendors.)
However, Finnie points out in his report that while the major vendors are grabbing an increasing share of the pie, "most specialists are also seeing robust growth."
Those specialists include Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) (following its acquisition of Bridgewater), BroadHop Inc. , Openet Telecom Ltd. and Tekelec in the "policy decision" sector; Allot Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT), Procera Networks and Sandvine Inc. in the DPI (policy enforcement) sector; and Comverse Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSI) and Volubill in the converged policy decision/enforcement sector.
Ongoing growth in the policy and DPI market will be driven by the "need for policy-driven traffic and congestion management measures, and, increasingly, the need for service differentiation based on subscriber behavior and demographics," notes Finnie, who adds that mobile operators will be the "primary drivers of growth" in the next five years.
— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading