“One Network, Any Cloud, All Software”
Mavenir hosted industry analysts for a two-day event to describe their recent successes and their strategy moving forward as the company continues to leverage its leadership position in messaging and voicemail, into IMS core, security, and two relatively new (for Mavenir) markets of packet core and radio access, and in particular open RAN. As networks are increasingly disaggregated, automation becomes vitally important. The company emphasized:
Progress and strategy for several of their key business areas are described below:
Radio Access (RAN)
Mavenir’s RAN focus over the next year is penetrating 4 large Tier-1 operators: Two in North America, one in Europe and one in Asia. Penetrating the RAN market is hard. And especially hard without substantial, concerted, decade-long backing from governments. Huawei had the benefit of years of support from the Chinese government through the China Development Bank and was able to establish a top position over two decades.
Penetrating the North American market is especially key for Mavenir (or any other aspiring RAN vendor) due to the fact that operators there often pay 4-5x the amount for similar equipment than in Europe and Asia. The incumbent vendors (Nokia and Ericsson) are highly dependent on the profits generated from the North American operators which allows them to effectively subsidize the business in other regions. Mavenir finds itself at a disadvantage without access to these customers. O-RAN is designed to open up these markets to competition. The profits from a strong foothold in the North American market is key for Mavenir’s long-term success.
Supply chain diversity for critical infrastructure is a national priority in many cases and should be for the RAN, insists the company and is trying to work through government channels to get more of a boost, monetarily or otherwise.
Mavenir has found recent success in the Packet Core market with a total of 38 new customers in fiscal 2021 and 2022, with over 60% of these new customers coming in 2022. These wins are largely of their multi-generational (2G-to-5G), cloud-native, containerized solution. Three factors, (1) Replacement of Chinese vendors due to geopolitical issues, (2) transition to cloud-native, programmable networks, and (3) new core networks to support 5G standalone (SA) networks, has created a window of opportunity and, with a growing network footprint, Mavenir is capitalizing. The company is embracing the role of hyperscale infrastructure providers in providing operators with the needed, cost effective, server capacity. Sites strong partnerships with AWS and GCP.
The company reports that bookings nearly tripled between 2020 and 2021 and saw modest growth in 2022. We estimate that much of these bookings have not yet turned to revenues as contacts and deliveries are over multiple years and due to complex and strict acceptance criteria, payment terms, and revenue recognition rules. Thus, Mavenir should reap the bulk of their market share gains in coming quarters and years.
IMS, Messaging and Voice
Due to their Xura acquisition in 2017, Mavenir is the leader in messaging (SMS and RCS) and voice mail systems and the company includes those in their IMS reporting along with the traditional IMS segments of CSCF, TAS, and SBC. Nevertheless, Mavenir is a leader in the traditional IMS segments and is well positioned as operators continue to transition to VoLTE and eventually VoNR. Excluding messaging and voicemail, Mavenir had 10% of the Wireless IMS market in 2022 and is a key supplier in North America, Europe (Germany in particular) and India.
The company also addressed the challenge of moving IMS from VNFs (which dominate the market today) to CNFs. Lack of service parity, operational consistency, and performance issues, with CNFs, have caused operators to continue to prefer VNFs for IMS. Lack of an elegant VoLTE roaming solutions has been a deterrent for many operators in adopting VoLTE and thus investing in IMS. Mavenir described a roaming solution that interworks HLR/MAP operations from home network to IMS operation in visited IMS network, which is in trials with a US Tier 1 operator.
As always, the Mavenir analyst event was highly informative with open, candid discussions about the Company and the state of the mobile infrastructure industry. With a shrinking number of suppliers, Mavenir is an important vendor and an important voice in the mobile infrastructure market.
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