Putting our wireless hat on, Faultline Online Reporter’s first and last meetings at Mobile World Congress were with two companies who would not normally fall into our remit, yet both Pareteum and Radisys have recently undergone major business changes which will define their paths with increasing overlap in the world of video delivery over mobile networks.
Radisys was recently acquired by Reliance Industries, parent company to one of the world’s most disruptive operators Reliance Jio, while Pareteum has just bought our old friend iPass, which has a substantial footprint in WiFi hotspots.
First off, Pareteum CEO Vic Bozzo set out to assure us there is still value in WiFi hotspots and the ultimate aim is about cross selling services across the segments of CSP, IoT and enterprise. Our assumption upon hearing about the takeover of iPass by a company virtually unheard of at just two and a half years old was that Pareteum saw only value in the wealth of data iPass has collected through millions of hotspots – and that it would proceed to gut iPass for this data to bulk up its SaaS offering to operators.
“Both businesses are valuable. The hotspot business is valuable because of greedy bandwidth and WiFi offload is still of big interest to some OTT operators. There is a lot of crossover between the Pareteum and iPass customer sets and we have previously bought a toolkit from iPass. We love iPass technology,” Bozzo told Faultline Online Reporter.
iPass has details of how much comes into a device from a particular AP, and the number of APs that iPass can access moved up to 63 million on last count, and that can be parleyed into data about devices and data about APs themselves.
Pareteum is essentially a SaaS provider enabling customers – primarily MVNEs (Mobile Virtual Network Enabler) – to meter, charge and bill for the usage of a service and ultimately derive more value from (and for) their own customers, employees and connected devices. Its big pitch is becoming vitally important to the survival and success of emerging market, wireless operators, and OTT operators. As for 5G, Bozzo said network slices suits Pareteum’s business model perfectly so the future is looking lucrative.
Moving on swiftly to Radisys, what attracted us to the US telco software supplier was its claim to have the world’s number 1 media server in terms of customers and its big push into voice. The company’s MediaEngine product claims to reduce the cost of deploying speech-enabled services by more than 90%.
This week Radisys unveiled new features for its MediaEngine virtualized media server to enable in-call services, allowing CSPs to implement speech recognition interfaces at dramatically lower costs. CSPs can accelerate speech-driven service introductions using off-the-shelf Intel Architecture servers, media processing with MediaEngine, and a combination of speech processing engines. The company told Faultline Online Reporter that this is not to be confused with natural language processing and it doesn’t claim to be anything fancy. Essentially what this is doing is word spotting, bringing Alexa-type experiences to the mobile world, using its experience in conferencing systems to enable in-call commands such as “mute my line,” as one basic example.
In fact, one of the world’s largest vendors in the telecommunications space is using Radisys in one of its voice recognition products and this was on show at MWC, although this remains under NDA and we were sworn to secrecy.
On that note, broadly speaking, voice technologies weren’t too evident when perusing the halls in Barcelona this week. However major shows are not ideal environments for showcasing voice-enabled products and services, so we won’t interpret this as any sort of ominous trend.