Easing network debate may aid Allot/Sandvine-paper

NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) - Allot Communications Ltd ALLT.O and Sandvine Corp. SVC.TO could see a boost in demand for their technologies, which could be used to give services such as Web video or voice priority over less urgent Internet traffic, according to Barron's April 9 edition.

The idea that network operators could charge extra to carry bandwidth-hungry services such as video or Web telephony has created a “net neutrality” debate, with Web companies arguing that network operators should be neutral as to services used.

But Barron’s said in a technology column it sees this debate easing over time as it expects consumers to become comfortable with the idea of paying extra so that services such as Web telephony and streaming video to work better.

When this happens, operators would likely use deep packet inspection (DPI) technology to look inside data packets crossing the network to determine if an e-mail, a phone call or video stream is being sent, in order to treat the traffic with the appropriate level of urgency, Barron’s said.

While network equipment market leader Cisco Systems Inc CSCO.O is currently the largest supplier of this technology, there could also be big demand for specialists such as Allot and Sandvine, Barron's said.

It said that Allot could be attractive as it is selling at “a bargain-basement price,” after it warned investors last week that its March quarter sales would fall short of expectations, blaming third-party distributors.

But Allot said it was doing well in direct sales to telecommunications carriers, according to Barron’s.

Sandvine already counts top U.S. cable provider Comcast Corp CMCSA.O among its customers, Barron's said.

“Cisco may get its big share of DPI installations, but there’s plenty of non-Cisco infrastructure out there. Allot and Sandvine will surely get their share too,” Barron’s said.