Tahoe Talks Shop

Tahoe Networks will announce first- and second-tier carrier customers for its wireless router product next year, according to Dr. Arthur Lin, president and CEO of the company. He says Tahoe is holding off until it can announce actual customer deployments rather than trials.

Lin got on the phone with Unstrung late Tuesday, initially to chat about the company's new management appointments. But the talk inevitably turned to customer deployments -- or the seeming lack of them. The firm had originally said that customers would implement its Mobile Internet Edge (MIE) infrastructure platform before the end of this year (see Tahoe Confirms Cutbacks)

Lin says Tahoe has a couple of trials running in Europe and a couple in North America. There is particular focus on service creation with some of the European carriers.

However, Lin says the company's main focus has been the Asian market. "Mainly, I think they are a little bit more advanced."

This is a viewpoint Yankee Group analyst Phil Marshall agreed with when we called to ask about Tahoe's prospects in Asia. "From an infrastructure standpoint, Japan and other Tier 1 Asian markets are trailblazers, so they almost have to look at some of these startups," he says.

Lin confirmed that Tahoe does definitely have trials in Japan. One carrier, he says, has been testing for scaleability and dynamic fault tolerance at heavy call volumes. "They don't usually trust the vendor," he notes.

Yankee's Marshall didn't really want to comment on which carrier he thinks Lin is talking about. However, we at Unstrung have a few ideas. It would be interesting to see what you, Dear Reader, thinks.

Consider: There are only three major, high volume operators in Japan -- NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM), J-Phone Co. Ltd., and KDDI Corp. Out of those, KDDI is the only one taking the CDMA route to 3G; both DoCoMo and J-Phone are working on WCDMA/UMTS systems. Tahoe is generally considered to be strong on CDMA technology. Ergo, the major Japanese customer may well be KDDI.

Marshall wonders how much it all matters anyway. "One thing I'm kind of wary of with these things is... what percentage of the total infrastructure spend are they getting. When these things come out, it is really a matter of being able to quantify them."

So, that'll be the next fun question for Unstrung. If and when these startups (see Having a Flutter on the GGSNs) get "multimillion-dollar deals," just how much are they worth?

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung www.unstrung.com
markjay 12/4/2012 | 9:21:21 PM
re: Tahoe Talks Shop ... but if Tahoe's solution worked, surely the customer would be keen to announce it for competitive advantage over the other two incumbents?

Can I ask another question? UMTS (wide-band) increasingly looks set to become the dominant 3G global standard. What then is Tahoe's revenue potential when compared to Megisto or Watercove, who seem to be gaining momentum in Europe, where (pre-market consolidation) there are more operators deploying UMTS and more subscribers than there are in a few islands off the coast of China?

In fact, haven't Chinese operators also chosen W-CDMA, which must be another blow for Tahoe.

Expect the opening of Megisto China/HK very soon!

And can somebody from Tahoe please tell me what MONETIZE means? Is it like when Jesus turns water into wine? We must be told!

WirelessUndertaker 12/4/2012 | 9:21:15 PM
re: Tahoe Talks Shop
I don't buy Tahoe's assertion that they have 2 trials in US and 2 trials in Europe. Probably they have none in these continents.
Their product is primarily a PDSN for the CDMA market; and they had almost written off the European market sometime back. Now they claim to have 2 trials in Europe!
In US, there are only 2 (large) CDMA operators - Sprint and Verizon. Does that mean that Tahoe has trials with both of them?
I think all this announcement about trials etc is being done for PR purposes, which they need to raise the next round of funding.
WirelessUndertaker 12/4/2012 | 9:21:15 PM
re: Tahoe Talks Shop
UMTS may be the dominant 3G standard in the long run; however in the short term (next 2 years), the money is in cdma 1xRTT (cdma2000). Just last month, China Unicom dished over US$ 1 billion worth of cdma2000 contracts to various vendors. Even Starent got a piece of it (not Tahoe though).

Chinese operators have not chosen W-CDMA yet. China has been trying very hard to promote its own standard called TD-SCDMA (Siemens and Datang being the main drivers of this technology), but have not been very successful so far. China will end up adopting 3 3G standards: W-CDMA, TD-SCDMA (China Mobile, China Unicom) and cdma2000 (China Unicom's cdma network).
BT76 12/4/2012 | 9:21:15 PM
re: Tahoe Talks Shop A UMTS/GPRS GGSN will be a commodity product with plenty of offerings and pricing at the US$1 to $2 range per concurrent session.

The panacea was the additional revenue from 'services'(on top of connectivity) but these have yet to be realized, defined and sold.

Only in the CDMA world (PDSN) does the value come out for this type of product.
wonderfull 12/4/2012 | 9:21:14 PM
re: Tahoe Talks Shop >Only in the CDMA world (PDSN) does the value come out for this type of product.

Huh! Why only with PDSNs in CDMA networks only?
wonderfull 12/4/2012 | 9:21:14 PM
re: Tahoe Talks Shop Tahoe is working with SK Tel.
BT76 12/4/2012 | 9:21:13 PM
re: Tahoe Talks Shop Not to go into too much detail here but the GGSN is a pretty easy box that I'm sure Watercove, Megisto, Cisco and Tahoe can all create with success. The PDSN has to overcome limitations in the BSC which makes it a more complicated process. Adapting the GTP interface to a PDSN is the easy part.
wonderfull 12/4/2012 | 9:21:13 PM
re: Tahoe Talks Shop GGSN and PDSN can be easily developed by
IP Service switch vendors with appropriate

For the PDSN, isn't it a matter of supporting
the IOS 4.x A10/A11 interface, RADIUS, GRE?
QoS can be added later...few vendors support
this anyway.

Startups tend to build the biggest ASIC with scalability claims of million+ whereas established vendors just add new software. Cisco is a classic example with the 7200 platform.
BT76 12/4/2012 | 9:21:12 PM
re: Tahoe Talks Shop A10/11 interface of course but reassembling the GRE tunnels is a HUGE effort and is best done in hardware (ASICs). Very processor intensive.

QoS won't be important for A LONG TIME (until DO/DV is widespread) as the wireless link is the slowest link anyway. But, as they say, its the sizzle that sells the bacon.

A much harder task then creating the GTP interface.
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