Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Zeugma Introduces Service Delivery Router

Zeugma, a Vancouver based start up, has introduced a service delivery router that combines deep packet inspection with the ability to support applications in a single box. Its objective is to support the deployment of value added services over broadband networks including managed Telco IPTV services and unmanaged over the top Internet TV and video.

Zeugma's market research indicates that more than 75 percent of the people surveyed are interested in buying or renting movies over the Internet. This research also indicates that people are not willing to pay much to begin watching the movie in a few minutes rather than waiting to download the entire movie first. While more than 55 percent would pay an extra $.25, only 40 percent would pay an extra $1.00 for a more immediate experience. On the other hand, more than 60 percent would be willing to watch a 30 second ad for the more immediate service. Zeugma stated that this shows that improved QoS can increase revenues.

The company states that its product's application awareness facilitates the classification of traffic. Its bandwidth manager can allocate or deny resources. It manages QoS and bandwidth on a per subscriber and per flow basis.

Zeugma's system is under evaluation at several major carriers including at BT.

Service management is clearly an important issue for broadband service providers. I don't think that best efforts will be adequate as the number and importance of these services increase.

However, the difficulties of managing video, especially Telco IPTV video should not be underestimated. We published a report Networking Strategies for TelcoTV Services that examines these issues in detail. You can request a free white paper on this subject.

Our conclusion was that as video on demand, replay TV, and other unicast forms of content from managed IPTV services will overwhelm broadband networks with video traffic. We half jokingly state that QoS will not work in this environment because there will not be enough low priority packets to discard.

While the effectiveness of the Zeugma and other similar system may be questionable for video traffic, especially for managed services, I think that they will be key for other services, especially for VoIP. I expect that they will be important on 4G mobile networks where all services, including voice, will be delivered over packet networks.

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