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Incognito Starts Provisioning

Incognito Software Inc. has thrown its hat into the cable broadband-software ring, targeting larger MSOs for provisioning software that has mainly been used by smaller operators and international clients.

The company's IP Commander allows MSOs to provision cable modems.

"IP Commander is responsible for the sending and configuring [Internet-protocol] addresses and sending information to the modem," CEO Patricia Steadman said. "It also provides interfaces to billing systems."

The also has the ability to determine the type of device a consumer is using — such as a Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification (DOCSIS) 1.0 or 1.1 modem — and to figure out which services a subscriber has signed up for.

To date, smaller cable players such as Monroe Utilities and Eagle Communications have deployed IP Commander, Steadman said. But one large MSO is now engaged in market trials, and Incognito is working on new software that will handle millions of IP addresses.

As broadband penetration grows, large MSOs now face the prospect of dozens of IP addresses flooding into any given cable-modem termination system.

Incognito is developing new software to handle address space management and provisioning with the ability to handle millions of addresses, said Steadman.

"It's a very complex thing for cable operators," she said. "There are new standards with PacketCable and Cable Home.

"Some existing solutions do not scale or support the new standards that the new software will address," she added. "That causes MSOs to re-evaluate the product they have."

Incognito was founded in 1992 and spent the 1990s developing standards-based software for network problems. Its clients included large enterprises and the government.

In late 2000, it entered the broadband space, signing integration deals with Terayon Communication Systems Inc. and Motorola Inc. Motorola was looking to blunt Cisco Systems Inc.'s inroads to the CMTS-deployment software business, Steadman said.

Incognito's software serves 2.5 million broadband subscribers worldwide, largely in Asia and Europe, she said.