Interestingly, Tier-2 and Tier-3 NEPs may benefit the most from open platforms. These NEPs often lack the engineering resources to develop new platforms from scratch, and ATCA enables them to get to market quickly. The challenge for Tier-2/3 NEPs is that they lack the manpower to integrate the COTS components and to validate the resulting system. To simplify the integration efforts of Tier-2/3 NEPs, CP-TA has created interoperability documents and test tools that can help NEPs significantly shorten their integration efforts.
Even with the help of organizations like CP-TA, integrating the hardware and system NEP software needed for an ATCA platform is challenging. As a result, most Tier-2/3 NEPs prefer vendors who can provide not only the ATCA building blocks, but also pre-integrated platforms. This turnkey approach enables Tier-2/3 NEPs to focus internal resources on their key competency " application software development " while leveraging the ATCA ecosystem for their ATCA platform.
Accordingly, integrated platforms for the Tier-2/3 market are expected to represent a substantial portion of the overall ATCA market. Venture Development Corporation's May 2007 research report indicates that the market share for integrated ATCA platforms is estimated to be 35% of the overall ATCA market by the end of 2008, followed by 32% for ATCA blades and 19% for base platforms. The remaining 14% represents AMC and MicroTCA.
Today, there are more than 45 companies offering ATCA-based building blocks and 25 of those companies have joined CP-TA in order to foster an interoperable ecosystem for ATCA system components. This large and growing community is committed to developing an open framework for carrier-grade telecom platforms, providing NEPs of all sizes the choice, innovation and cost-competitiveness they need to be successful.