The biggest news since yesterday is the acquisition of Acme Packet by Oracle Corporation. This is Oracle’s first acquisition in 2013 and this has happened in the Communications and Media domain!
If one looks at what Oracle had been busy with last year, one notices that they have acquired a number of companies in Cloud and Social Media space. From that to a hardcore telecom component came as quite a surprise!
Here’s some loud thinking to see if I can connect the dots…
Oracle’s earlier focus in this space was easier to understand. And, I am including eServeGlobal’s Universal Service Platform in that list.
One can easily relate to the acquistion of Metasolv or Portal, as well as, the series of acquisitions that helped build the Service Delivery Platform capability through App servers, Parlay/X gateways and other SOA components. I would include BEA’s WLNG platform, renamed OCSG by Oracle – a network gatekeeper – in line with these.
As mentioned earlier, the acquisition of eServeGlobal’s USP – an Iintelligent Network platform appeared anomalous. However, if one connects the platform as an enabler for Prepaid Services and the importance of the Billing Products from Oracle, that gets explained away.
A Focus on VoIP/IMS?
When you look at HotSIP acquisition, one could have wondered why Oracle would have acquired a SIP stack. However, given that HTTP and SIP are sister protocols, once again we see this as the ability to use in possible Application Servers that use SIP interfaces just like HTTP interface in the traditional web.
I have not counted the acquisition of BEA’s WLSS, integrated into the OCAS product of Oracle, as it came in as part of the BEA bundle – just as I wouldn’t have counted the JRockit JVM of BEA and connected it to the acquisition of Sun Microsystems.
All this still appears as traditional domain where you would look for Oracle under the hood. Acquiring Acme Packets, known for their VoIP gear, like Session Border Controllers (SBC) does not fit here. Or does it?
Potential Demand from LTE?
All of us are by now aware that LTE roll out has begun – the so-called 4G technology. For the first time, we are looking at an integrated network since the advent of GPRS with LTE. There is no Circuit-Switched Domain that is separate from the Packet Switched Domain in LTE. Everything is a Packet-Switching based Core.
LTE spec’s recommended mechanism for Voice Services is through IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) – an enhanced VoIP technology based solution specified by 3GPP. IMS, of course, arrived on the scene 10 years back and has been languishing without much adoption – but has now become an object of interest once again.
IMS architecture, as I recall from past times, when we had inplemented some components in our labs for experimental requirements, involves an Application Server. The Application Server was specified to use both SIP and Diameter interfaces – meaning, it was always envisaged as an entity that would be involved in session activities, as well as, Policy Management (AAA); and a Session Border Controller is precisely this kind of an element!
So – is this Oracle’s reconfiguration towards an LTE World? Would be good to hear from others what their theories are…