Camiant CEO: Ops Hot for Multimedia

Bandwidth-allocation server vendor Camiant Inc. has named former C-COR Inc. and Worldbridge Broadband Services executive Paul Janson as CEO and plans fourth-quarter tests with “friendlies” inside several cable companies for PacketCable Multimedia enabled applications such as bandwidth on demand, peer-to-peer gaming and video telephony.

“People are starting to get pretty excited about PCMM,” said Janson. “This technology enables cable guys to do something that satellite guys truly won’t be able to touch.”

Cable Television Laboratories Inc. has released a specification for PCMM that generated some lively talk at the consortium’s private summer conference several weeks ago, Janson said.

“Early on, the technology side was looking at PCMM as one more tool from a defensive perspective: to have much more bandwidth-efficient utilization. Now it’s moved into, 'Wow, if this is done correctly, we can do all these applications and continue to add applications ad infinitum without rebuilding.’

“It’s moved from a defensive tool to an offensive one.”

It seems different cable firms have different views of what those applications could be. They range from Internet-based voice services to video telephony, peer-to-peer gaming, virus and worm-protection services, bandwidth on demand and other applications that would make cable-modem service stickier and provide services that digital subscriber line and satellite can’t match, he said.

Camiant’s policy server would allow cable companies to allocate bandwidth to individual homes for specific applications on an as-needed basis.

The vendor has been in lab trials or discussions with the six top cable companies, including Cox Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp.

The company is backed by venture capitalists, including Pilot House Ventures, and plans a series-B funding round this fall.

Janson said three cable operators and one major equipment vendor have expressed interest in signing up for round two.

One key application is bandwidth on demand. There’s talk of adding a “turbo” button to high-speed services, Janson said.

For an added fee, consumers could hit that button for a bandwidth-on-the-fly allocation for a specific purpose, such as downloading a movie.

Janson said the commercial services side of one cable company he’s talked to has discussed turning up bandwidth from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for its entire customer base.

“MSOs want to test various modules and dynamic tiering and bandwidth on-demand applications,” he said.