Camiant’s QOS Pitch: IP Apps Accelerating

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Camiant Inc. is pitching cable operators a quality-of-service PacketCable Multimedia-based hardware platform that enables bandwidth allocation across a host of Internet applications.

PacketCable Multimedia specifications have gained momentum over the past few months, as cable operators look to provide more services than just plain old voice-over-IP telephony service.

“We have seen a huge acceleration,” said Susie Kim Riley, Camiant’s founder and chief technology officer.

Camiant’s proxy server application is now in lab trials with Comcast Corp. and Cox Communications Inc., as well as other MSOs.

Basically, Camiant’s proxy server, the QBUS multimedia service controller, assigns business rules to data bits flowing through a cable operator’s cable-modem termination system, based on rules defined by the cable operator.

If an operator has launched a higher-level tier of service for online gamers, for instance, the QBUS can make sure the prescribed level of bits flows to each gaming tier subscriber.

If video telephony is assigned 512 Kilobits per second of bandwidth, QBUS will make sure every video telephony calls gets its 512 Kbps allocation.

“The desire to roll out new applications — such as SIP-based telephony, online games and streaming media in a highly differentiated manner — is driving the need for quality of service on the high-speed data network,” Riley said.

“QBUS introduces the capability to dynamically and intelligently allocate resources so that subscribers enjoy unmatched performance for new and emerging applications. We act as traffic cop for system resources.”

Riley said Cox and Comcast are testing three applications in their labs: voice, video streaming and bandwidth on-demand.

“Today’s cable customer is using the network in ways that few imagined, and there are significant new-service and improved customer experience opportunities waiting to be tapped by improving the way we manage bandwidth and performance,” Comcast Cable senior vice president for new media development Steve Craddock said in a statement.

Comcast Corp. CEO Brian Roberts and Comcast Cable president Steven Burke have spoken glowingly of video telephony offerings over the past several months.

Comcast’s relatively go-slow approach on telephony — it will roll out in just a handful of markets this year — could indicate that the No. 1 MSO is waiting for more feature applications, like video telephony, before going head to head with regional Bells and other VoIP providers.

“PacketCable Multimedia policy servers allow operators to align resources with subscriber requests,” Craddock said. “Its real-time bandwidth control and policy enforcement platform provides an ideal environment in which new, multimedia applications can thrive and prosper.”

Cable Television Laboratories Inc, has released a specification for PacketCable Multimedia, but many cable companies are moving ahead with testing even without a full-fledged certification wave.

In fact, there is some debate within the MSO community whether or not PacketCable Multimedia certification waves are even necessary.

Riley said Camiant has finished integration work with three CMTS vendors: Cisco Systems Inc., Motorola Inc. and Arris Group Inc.

It’s also integrated with Cisco and Syndeo Corp. on the call-management server front. All of those moves would allow MSOs to deploy Camiant proxy servers to allocate bandwidth for new applications by year-end.

The list of applications includes VoIP, video telephony, bandwidth on-demand, online games, rich text messaging, streaming music, IP video and metered high-speed data services.

Camiant is only a year old, but has drawn funding several venture capital firms, including Pilot House Investments, populated by former Continental Cablevision Inc. executives.

Camiant will show its product during CableNet at The National Show, as well as in the Cisco, Motorola and Arris booths.

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