Saturday, August 27, 2011

Dear Openwave, Juniper is now partnering with RGB Networks

In a solution brief stealthily released this week, Juniper introduces RGB Networks VMG transcoder product within its Media Flow solution as their partner for adaptive streaming.

This solution brief, centered around mobile video delivery uses a lot of the rhetoric associated with mobile TV and TV everywhere, touting computational performance and low heat dissipation for instance. The solutions seems to be addressed at carriers, content owners, cable operators who want to enable their own mobile CDN, rather than relying on Akamai and Limelight.
It is not surprising since it is, after all, RGB's core competency, to extend professional video encoding from cable to mobile networks. Hardware based, high performance adaptive streaming and its three proprietary flavors (Apple's, Microsoft's and Adobe's) seem to be the core of the solution. That is, until their acquisition of Ripcode last year which yielded, beyond a handful of wireless customers and a software based solution, the embryo of video optimization  technology for OTT traffic.

What I find interesting, is that the same solution from Juniper, Media Flow was supposed to be as well the core of the Openwave - Juniper partnership around video optimization announced at Mobile World Congress this year. 
If you remember the press release at the time, "Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR) has selected the Company [Openwave] as a strategic partner to integrate its Media Optimizer into Juniper’s Media Flow solution for mobile video optimization".

We all have seen Openwave's struggle to convince the market that they indeed have technology in this space, after over 30 announced trials and customer engagements and only Wattanya Maldives to show as an announced customer in the space.

At the same time, RGB Networks has made many inroads in licensing and OEMing its technology to core networks, VAS and optimization vendors to perform transcoding, not in the mobile TV/mobile CDN space, but for video optimization. Several vendors in the space have embedded their transcoder in their solution.

Reading between the lines, I can't help but think that Juniper might be thinking of RGB as an anchor technology partner for their Media Flow solution. It makes sense to consolidate both the video delivery for on-deck content announced here with the video optimization for OTT content with a single technology partner. At that point, RGB has a lot more references and technology than Openwave.

 I would not be surprised if Openwave's partnership with Juniper was at its end, whether it will be officially acknowledged or not, only 6 months after its announcement.

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