Interview with Lior Fite, Founder of Saguna Networks

Saguna Networks is the hottest company to enter the CDN Ecosystem, offering an innovative way to improve content delivery network performance within mobile networks. The good news is they work with CDNs, extending CDN functionality into the mobile network. A number of CDNs offer content delivery solutions for the wireless last mile, using innovative caching and dynamic acceleration techniques, that improve time-to-first-paint, and many other metrics. However, these solutions operate outside the mobile network. Saguna helps CDNs extend their innovative caching and dynamic acceleration techniques in the mobile networks, also known as RAN. Big thanks to Lior Fite, for taking part in this Q&A session.

Who is Saguna Networks?
[L.F.] Saguna networks is an Israeli startup company founded in December 2008. Saguna’s mission is “To make mobile broadband fast, simple, and economical using network virtualized functions” that we have developed, as a set of technologies that allow us to integrate standard IT products into the Mobile Radio Access Network (RAN).

What do you do?
[L.F.] Saguna is developing a set of SW products that creates an “IT cloud” environment in the mobile Radio Network Access (RAN). The Saguna product is “CODS”, which is installed within the RAN. It allows applications, like a CDN to be placed within the RAN. One of the most critical parameters for a CDN service provider is the RTT (Round Trip Time), which is the amount of time it takes a server located on the Internet to respond, and send back an acknowledgement to a user request.

In fixed networks, the average RTT value for CDNs is about 15ms to 20ms. In mobile networks, even in 4th generation networks, the RTT value is 100ms on average. Thus, CDN’s need to get closer to the end user, in order to deliver the same QoS they deliver in fixed networks. Saguna CODS product allow this to happen.

Do you compete with CDNs, like Instart Logic and EdgeCast?
[L.F.] Saguna is not providing a CDN service. Saguna is helping CDN service providers to get as close as possible to mobile subscribers in 3G and 4G networks. Thus, Saguna CODS product is complementary to CDN service providers

What is Radio Access Network (RAN) content acceleration? Your RAN solution installs within the Mobile Base Station, what is mobile base station?
[L.F.] RAN is a term in mobile networks,that refers to the ACCESS part of the mobile network, which mostly includes a Base-Station and the backhaul part, that connects the Base Stations to the Mobile Core Elements. A mobile Base-Station is an element in the mobile network that converts the user domain data, that arrives from the mobile core elements, in the form of packets to RF, and is transmitted over the air to the mobile device

Who are your customers?
[L.F.] Saguna customers are network equipment providers that use our SW within their Base-Stations

Why would a customer select your service instead of Instart Logic or EdgeCast that have built many features for wireless last mile content acceleration?
[L.F.] Instart Logic of EdgeCast are CDN service provider, and their solution is designed to work with fixed IP networks. The RAN is not a fixed IP network solution. It allows users to move within the mobile network without losing the connection. In 4G, the mobile Base Station is connected to the mobile core using a protocol called S1, which in a nutshell is a tunneling protocol. Standard IP based systems cannot work within this environment. The Saguna CODS product is installed within the RAN to allow systems, like the one provided by EdgeCast or Instart Logic to work within the RAN in a native way, without the need to worry about the mobile network structure