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Test & Measurement

IneoQuest Aims for IPO

CHICAGO -- NXTcomm -- Video test-and-measurement equipment specialist IneoQuest Technologies Inc. is planning an IPO, probably some time after 2008, says the company's CEO.

Marc Todd says IneoQuest now has more than 300 customers, including a lot of Tier 1-3 carriers as well as cable and satellite operators. Due to non-disclosure agreements he can't name them, though Orange (NYSE: FTE) has revealed itself as a customer. (See France Telecom: 'More IPTV, Please'.)

Having found a niche that has become, in the past two years, one of the hottest segments of the telco test market, IneoQuest says it has experienced a 600 percent growth in sales in the past three years. Now Todd says revenues should double this year, compared with 2006. (See Triple Play Fires Up Test Sector and Kasenna Leads IPTV Test Charge.)

"My plan is to take the company public. We're in an excellent position. If things go well this year, then we'll see what happens," says the CEO, who claims the video test solution firm has been cashflow positive for the past three years.

Doesn't that make IneoQuest quite an attractive takeover target? Todd says the company isn't entertaining offers.

An IPO could result in a very nice payday for the company's only financial backer, Peter Dawson, who, with Todd, founded the company in 2001. The company has received no venture funding.

IneoQuest is still one of the few companies to have developed test systems designed specifically to monitor video streams in service provider networks, and was, according to one of its competitors, the firm that created the market. (See IneoQuest Spews Video Test News, IneoQuest Stresses Video Switches, IneoQuest Launches Cricket, and IneoQuest Launches iVMS.)

"They were first and have done very well. What they have done has been good for us all," says Simen Frostad, chairman of Norwegian video test vendor Bridge Technologies Co AS .

That led to the development of some significant partnerships with the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), which has IneoQuest as one of its IPTV ecosystem partners. (See IPTV Triggers Test Action.)

Now IneoQuest has a new partner, announced here in Chicago, in EMC Smarts, the network fault management part of EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), whereby the video test specialist's iVMS (IP Video Management System) is integrated with EMC's OSS and provides video flow information into the fault management system. (See IneoQuest, EMC Team Up.)

It's also ramping up its offer for the MSO sector, where Todd claims to have landed "all the Tier 1 players and most of the Tier 2s," by adapting its IQPinPoint video quality management system for the emerging switched digital video (SDV) market. (See IneoQuest Tests SDV Networks.)

Todd says he gets feedback from MSOs about what's around the corner, and says "SDV's going to happen this year and next," before adding, "the MSO space for quality assurance is massive." (See Opening Up Switched Digital and Comcast Puts SDV Vendors to the Test.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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