Juniper touts MobileNext packet core success but struggles for traction

Juniper Networks received positive results from testing of its new MobileNext Broadband Gateway, but analysts are still unsure of whether the product will make a significant dent in the marketplace.

Juniper enlisted Spirent Communications and the European Advanced Networking Test Center to validate the gateway's ability to scale up to millions of mobile subscriber data sessions while delivering high-performance applications with seamless mobility across 3G and LTE networks.

Using Spirent's testing products, EANTC validated that Juniper's MobileNext packet core solution supported 8 million mobile subscribers with a sustained activation rate of 48,000 sessions per second and support for 168,000 transactions per second in a fully redundant configuration. The test also demonstrated that the system is able to sustain an aggregate of 434 Gbps mobile subscriber traffic while running redundancy, policy and MPLS services.

"Juniper's MobileNext packet core solutions give mobile operators the ability to transform their legacy networks into an open, secure and scalable mobile broadband network that will enable them to profit from the smartphone revolution," said Kumar Mehta, vice president of engineering at Juniper's mobile business unit.

The testing may be an effort by Juniper to jumpstart sales of its MobileNext product. A report issued this week by Deutsche Bank research analysts Brian Modoff and Jonathan Goldberg noted, "Juniper is yet to discuss meaningful design wins for their MobileNext (LTE core network software) solution from their Tier-1 telco customers, versus noting mostly Tier-2 wins at Elisa in Finland, etc. It is our view that this platform is not seeing much traction with the major carriers."

The Deutsche Bank analysts described the LTE network buildout opportunity as an "architectural play" versus sales of "point products" from multiple vendors into the telcos. "An architectural play implies to us that Juniper needs to meaningfully accelerate its pace of sales activity in securing Tier-1 design wins for MobileNext (running on their MX edge routing platform) for the company to be perceived as a credible player in LTE network buildouts, over the next few years," they wrote.

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