Policy + charging

Sandvine Pumps Up Policy Switch

Sandvine Inc. has rolled out its third-generation Policy Traffic Switch (PTS), claiming the latest box can offer throughputs of 60 Gbit/s, or up to 240 Gbit/s when the four-rack unit device is deployed in four-box clusters. (See Sandvine Ratchets up Policy Switch .)

The new PTS 24000 triples the capacity of Sandvine's three-year-old PTS 14000, which handles 10 Gbit/s per box, or 80 Gbit/s (and up to 1 million mobile subs) when clustered. The new device can be configured to handle up to 5 million mobile customers, according to CTO Don Bowman.

(At the low end, Sandvine still offers the PTS 8210, pushing out 1 Gbit/s.)

The new box runs the same policy applications as the 14000, led by Sandvine's Fairshare application (for network congestion) and a type of bit counter that can help MSOs manage metered broadband services. (See Sandvine Unveils New Bandwidth Cop and Sandvine Unveils FairShare.) Sandvine also claims the 24000 requires less power to operate and throws off less heat than its predecessors.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is one of Sandvine's highest-profile customers, using PTS devices and Fairshare to power a "protocol agnostic" bandwidth management system installed across the board at the start of the year. (See Comcast Goes 'Protocol Agnostic' Everywhere , Comcast Details Net Management Moves , and FCC Throttles Comcast.)

However, the first two deployments of the PTS 24000 are with two large operators in Europe that Sandvine won't disclose -- one fixed-line service provider with more than 1 million subscribers, and one wireless operator with close to 20 million customers.

Of those two operators, one is operating the PTS 24000 at 120 Gbit/s, requiring three boxes (two for live operations, and one spare). Bowman estimates that the same operator would've needed 13 boxes using Sandvine's earlier product.

Although Comcast, which has more than 15.3 million cable modem customers, is an obvious candidate for the PTS 24000, Sandvine says it's yet to land a cable MSO for the product.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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