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Startup Company Profile #2: BigBand

BigBand Networks Inc. is the big dog in the cable startup category. It's got lots of funding, some high-profile backers, and a fair amount of hype. Can it live up to it? The company hoped to have completed a successful IPO by now, but no luck yet.

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Redwood City, Calif., BigBand has raised more than $100 million to date. Investors include Charles River Ventures, Evergreen Investments, Meritech Capital Partners, Pilot House Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Time Warner Ventures. In the North American cable market alone, BigBand says its customers include seven of the top ten MSOs, and the company's platforms deliver services to more than 20 million digital television and broadband Internet subscribers.

BigBand's flagship product is the BMR (Broadband Multimedia-Service Router), a video processing platform, and its BME (Broadband Multimedia-Service Edge) QAM modulator solution. In 2004, BigBand entered the CMTS space by acquiring the assets of ADC's IP Cable Business Unit. Since then, the company has worked to drive the transition to converged digital edge infrastructure for MSOs through the industry's DOCSIS 3.0 and modular CMTS (M-CMTS) initiatives.

While Luctael could find an Arris acquisition attractive, BigBand is also a logical choice with a product portfolio that includes video processing, edge QAM, CMTS, and OSS solutions.

    Startup: BigBand Networks
    Innovation factor: 8 (out of 10)
    Likely Acquirer: Lucent/Alcatel
    Handicap: 3-1 odds on Lucent/Alcatel
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