Where it's based: Marlborough, Mass.
When it was founded: 2003
Why it's Fierce: Mobile operators around the globe have begun cashing in on their 3G investments through mobile broadband access plans and the resulting data revenues. But carriers' all-you-can-eat enthusiasm when it comes to smartphones, USB modems and subsidized, wireless laptops is beginning to have a not-so-pleasant side effect: Some power users are beginning to push the envelope on consumption. Naturally, operators have struck back with data caps and steep, per-megabyte overage fees.
Camiant proposes a different solution. The vendor provides a policy control software and bandwidth management system for broadband, which dials back a subscriber's usage to 2G levels during times of heavy congestion. At other times, users can exceed their usage caps at full 3G bandwidth. This "soft cap" gives operators the ability to manage high use periods while offering an upgrade path for customers who want to pay for higher speeds during peak traffic hours.
Vodafone Hungary is using Camiant's Multimedia Policy Controller with success; the carrier doesn't charge extra for excessive use and has not suffered from a congested network. Further, Camiant already has gained a foothold in the U.S. through Sprint Nextel and several cable providers. The company recently conducted a study with a consultancy firm and concluded that mobile broadband operators can realize upwards of 20 percent savings on their network costs by actively managing mobile broadband congestion.
What's next: Camiant hopes to gain traction as operators push the envelope on mobile broadband offerings. Europe in particular may be a hotbed as operators there offer highly subsidized laptops and USBs in an attempt to steal broadband customers away from landline providers.