Internet Photonics Inc. and Jedai Broadband Networks last week signed a partnership agreement that calls for the pair to combine certain technologies for cable-deployed voice and data services to small and medium-sized businesses.
Internet Photonics, which has made a name for itself in the Gigabit Ethernet video-on-demand space, will contribute its LightStack multiservice switching and transport equipment.
Jedai brings its FrontRunner 3200 Access Switch Router family of products.
"It's a very important agreement for Internet Photonics," company CEO Greg Koss said. "We've been quite successful in penetrating the cable market, primarily with on-demand applications. We pioneered the use of optical Ethernet and 10-Gigabit networks to satisfy bandwidth requirements."
Four of the top five MSOs are using IP gear in their VOD systems, said Koss, so the transition to the business services side was natural.
"There are many [requests for proposals] and opportunities on the street. It made a lot of sense to partner with Jedai," he said.
It didn't hurt that both companies are located in northern New Jersey.
"Jedai has been working aggressively on commercial service space for four years," said Jedai CEO Michael Pritz, who cited deployments with three top-five MSOs.
"As the operators becoming more aggressive with business services, they wanted to have a choice whether they deploy a full network solution — metro, access and element management — or whether they want to piecemeal it. Sometimes they want to mix and match vendors.
"As we saw an emerging demand for full-network solutions, it made sense from a market perspective," he added. "And we were overwhelmingly impressed with Internet Photonics."
The cable industry's approach to proffering business services has been all over the map. Some MSOs, like Cox Communications Inc., are fairly aggressive. Others, such as Comcast Corp., have pulled back from aggressive plans to focus on other priorities.
Those operators that have made the plunge "have seen an impressive traction with business services," said Pritz. "There are aggressive approaches going after business services, with fiber-fed solutions.
"We're seeing much more aggressive approaches, especially with vertical market segments."
Operators' need to fulfill franchise requirements, which sometimes call for municipal or school-district telecommunications networks, are one core driver of this growth, according to Pritz.
"We're seeing a ratcheting up of the activity," including linking sites within a school district. Vertical market segment opportunities included links between medical sites.
For instance, Cox has grown a small commercial-services win into a multimillion-dollar enterprise that connects a series of medical facilities in the Norfolk-Hampton Roads, Va., area.
Internet Photonics technology allows cable operators to dedicate some optical GigE ports on fiber plant to commercial services, while other ports handle VOD traffic, said Koss.
"We can isolate all these different services," he said. "It's plug-and-play. Through [dense wave-division multiplexing], we can put lots of GigE channels onto a single pair of fiber.
"With LightStack, we can put up to 240 GigE on one pair of fiber. Each GigE is separated and they can support different services."
Pritz said cable ops want to offer a compelling package to the enterprise, crossing both voice and data, and scale the services, depending on what each business needs.
"The single infrastructure carriage of both voice and data with large-scale pipes, that's an aggregation that's going to give you a compelling proposition," he said.