Hot on the heels of introducing an Open RAN pathway for legacy 2G systems, Mavenir has acquired global communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) enablement and application provider Telestax.
Putting the deal into context, Raúl Castañón-Martínez, senior analyst of workforce productivity and collaboration at 451 Research, said that while the early definition of CPaaS in terms of connectivity has been augmented to include a much broader range of services, those that provide the full communication service stack – including the application programming interface (API) layer and network infrastructure – have a competitive advantage from those whose strategy primarily focuses on the API layer and who rely on partnerships to provide access to the network layer.
He cited 451 Research’s Workforce productivity & collaboration 2021 CPaaS market monitor, which showed that in 2020, total market revenue increased by over 40% to $6.5bn, and will account for about $21bn in 2025, a compound annual growth rate of 26%.
The Telestax acquisition is principally designed to enhance Mavenir’s Engage omni-channel messaging monetisation and customer engagement offerings by enabling service providers with new agile, nimble software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to better compete in the new digital economy, delivering specialisation, flexibility and simplicity to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes across a broad spectrum of industry verticals. It is also seen as providing service innovation and feature velocity with easy-to-consume APIs and business-critical applications.
With the acquisition, Mavenir believes it is lowering the barrier of entry and democratising business messaging for businesses of all sizes to implement conversational commerce experiences. “Communication platforms are becoming a key differentiator for service providers,” said Mavenir president and CEO Pardeep Kohli. “They will unlock enterprise value in 5G with API enablement for different verticals such as IoT [internet of things], automotive and smart cities, and provide turnkey applications for logistics, fleet management, artificial intelligence/machine learning chatbots, voice biometrics verification, immersive commerce/entertainment and many other use cases.”
Telestax co-founder and CTO Jean Deruelle added: “From our roots as an open-source communications disruptor that defined the CPaaS enablement market with the Restcomm API framework, we are incredibly excited to join forces and combine our capabilities with Mavenir’s extensive 5G and omni-channel messaging portfolio in the next step of our journey to keep helping carriers globally define the future of business communications.”
As the acquisition was happening, Mavenir said that by demonstrating what it said was the world’s first 2G containerised architecture, it was paving the way for incorporating 2G into Open RAN standards. It added that development is being driven in support of legacy network swaps for commercial and cost-efficiency improvements required by communications service providers (CSPs) as they diversify the supply chain.
The commercial readiness of the containerised architecture sees use of an enhanced front-haul interface between the multi radio access technology (MRAT), remote radiohead unit (RRU) and the distributed unit (DU), establishing full frequency hopping, multiple TRXs, multiple codecs, ciphering and handovers in readiness for commercial deployments.
Mavenir combined the 2G technology from its ip.access acquisition and containerised the GSM layer 1, 2 and 3 protocols of 2G in the DU microservices architecture that can be run in parallel and on the same platform with the 4G/5G network architecture. Mavenir has also developed an enhanced 2G interface MRAT protocol on top of the O-RAN Alliance-based enhanced common public radio interfaces with minimal adaptation and will make this combined interface openly available by standardising the interface in the O-RAN Alliance.
“This milestone enables us to readily support operators in making a complete swap from proprietary RAN solutions to open interfaces, and virtualised web-scale architectures,” said Mavenir president and CEO Pardeep Kohli.
Mavenir will contribute to the O-RAN Alliance in the standardisation of the front-haul interface for 2G. Its technology also brings O-RAN lower layer split mode to the DU architecture, allowing CSPs to centralise the 2G DUs as well as freeing up space and complexity at the tower site. This also enables pooling of the CPU resources across several sites.