Akamai, Plume join for wired, wireless security coverage

Prospective joint customers would include the likes of Verizon and AT&T, which have both fixed line and wireless businesses. (Getty Images)

Akamai, best known as a global content delivery network (CDN) provider, and Plume, best known for its Wi-Fi software, are coming together to jointly offer smart-home and smart-business services, including security.

For Akamai and Plume, the joint offering will give them access to each other’s customers as well as sales and marketing teams.

Both Akamai and Plume are business-to-business companies whose customers are service providers.

One of Plume’s biggest customers is Comcast, which uses Plume’s software as part of its Wi-Fi mesh offering. The software rides on Comcast’s xFi Pods and helps eliminate residential Wi-Fi dead spots. It also provides security, parental controls and access controls for each connected device, and it can prioritize devices and optimize the Wi-Fi traffic in the home.

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Some of Akamai’s main customers for its in-home and SMB services include Vodafone and Telstra, which use Akamai’s Security and Personalization Services.

John Arledge, software and technology general manager at Akamai, said, “In our sphere we sell software and services to carriers that they bundle under their own brand and then resell to their customers, both mobile or fixed line.” For instance, at Telstra the Akamai-based service is called Broadband Protect, and at Vodafone it’s called Secure Net.

“Akamai and Plume both have success with customers,” said Arledge. “We’ll combine the Plume technology with our sales channel and relationships. We’re also bringing technology from Akamai.”

The partners are touting the fact that Plume brings its in-home experience, while Akamai brings in-the-network experience. “We’ve relied on our network infrastructure to deliver security, policy and reporting,” said Arledge. “But that doesn’t provide the level of granularity that can be achieved if you have some presence in the home.”

The benefit to the end customer is that they have consistent security and policy whether they’re at home on unlicensed Wi-Fi spectrum or whether they’re out and about on licensed mobile spectrum. Tyson Marian, Plume's chief commercial officer, added that the partnership is about cyber security but also about uniform policy, such as parental controls.

Prospective joint customers would include both companies’ existing customers but also new targets such as Verizon and AT&T, which have both fixed line and wireless businesses.