Metaswitch Networks has made its first-ever acquisition, acquiring AppTrigger, a provider of service broker solutions.

The addition of the AppTrigger Ignite platform to the Metaswitch product line-up will enable the company to provide standalone service broker solutions, as well as accelerate adoption of its switching and applications product lines in fixed-line and wireless networks in multiple geographical markets.

Aside from its status on the first acquisition Metaswitch Networks ever has made, the move highlights a shift of company focus towards the application space. For one thing, AppTrigger can be purchased and used in its own right, without being bundled directly with other Metaswitch applications.

Also, as the target market for service broker software are some 25 to 40 global carriers, the move also signals an expansion of attention from independent telcos, cable companies and competitive local exchange carriers to a broader focus on carriers of all sizes.

At the same time, the acquisition will simplify and lower the cost of adding Metaswitch applications to any existing intelligent network infrastructure, at the same time making possible porting of existing applications over to an IP Multimedia Subsystems network.

About 30 new employees will be added to Metaswitch networks staff as a result of the acquisition.

Service brokers dramatically reduce the cost of service deployment by providing a new software mediation capability–some would call it an abstraction layer–that automatically normalizes protocols and software interfaces across IMS and IN networks.

That’s important because it allows service providers to preserve and extend investments in network infrastructure, while accelerating time to market for new services, by eliminating the chores of writing new interfaces between IMS and IN applications.

The service broker acts on an uncoupled basis, without disturbing the underlying legacy or next-generation networks.

Service brokers sit between the service layer and the network layer and are decoupled from the core switch and the service execution or service creation environment.

“It sits in the network between the network and service layers, and allows you to run existing voice mail over an IMS network, or calling cards, for example,” says Steve Gleave, Metaswitch Networks VP.

“Carriers are increasingly realizing that service brokers are key to their ability to safely and cost-effectively evolve their business models to IP,” says Kevin DeNuccio, Metaswitch CEO.

AppTrigger’s “Ignite” platform is today deployed in multiple tier one networks worldwide and supports 17 pre-defined application interworking solutions from non-geographical number and local number portability (LNP) to wireless prepaid and network IVR.