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Sandvine Incorporated
IndustryNetworking Hardware and Software
FoundedWaterloo, Ontario (2001)
HeadquartersFremont, California

Sandvine Incorporated is a networking equipment company[1] based in Fremont, California, United States. Sandvine network policy control products are designed to implement broad network policies, ranging from censorship[2], service creation,[3] billing,[4] congestion management, and security.[5] Sandvine targets its products at consumer Tier 1 and Tier 2 networks including cable, DSL, and mobile.[6]

Company history[edit]

Sandvine was formed in August 2001 in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, by a team of approximately 30 people from a recently closed Cisco acquisition, PixStream. An initial round of VC funding launched the company with $20 million (Cdn). A subsequent round of financing of $19 million (Cdn) was completed in May 2005.[citation needed] In March 2006 Sandvine completed an initial public offering on the London AIM exchange under the ticker 'SAND'. In October 2006 Sandvine completed an initial public offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker 'SVC'.[citation needed]

Initial product sales focused at congestion management as operators struggled with the high growth of broadband. Many operators have shifted focus to revenue generating services and reducing operational expenditure.[citation needed] In June 2007 Sandvine acquired CableMatrix Technologies for its PacketCable Multimedia (PCMM)-based PCRF that enable broadband operators to increase subscriber satisfaction while delivering media-rich IP applications and services such as SIP telephony, video streaming, on-line gaming, and videoconferencing.[7]

In August 2015 Sandvine acquired Momac B.V. for its customer engagement technologies such that subscribers are presented with the most relevant message, offer or alert at the right time, on any screen, such that they can take immediate action.[8]

In February 2016 Sandvine acquired the assets of Teclo Networks AG for its TCP Optimization technology.[9]

In July 2017 Sandvine shareholders accepted a $562 million (Cdn) takeover bid from PNI Acquireco Corp., an affiliate of Francisco Partners and Procera Networks. The acquisition was completed on September 2017 when Sandvine shares ceased to be listed in the Toronto Stock Exchange.[10] The acquisition was completed despite concerns raised by Ronald Deibert, the director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto who argued that the takeover required “closer scrutiny” by the federal government, largely in light of some of the activities done by two of Francisco’s portfolio companies.[11] Most notably Procera Networks was part of a controversy where its technology is alleged to have been used to spy on Turkish citizens.[12]

In March 2018 the Citizen lab published a report showing strong evidence that PacketLogic devices from Sandvine could have been used to deploy government spyware in Turkey and redirect Egyptian users to affiliate ads.[13] The Citizen Lab performed a number of tests contrasting the behaviour of network data traffic in these countries with a PacketLogic device procured independently.[citation needed]


Sandvine's technology focuses on policy management, including the control of spam, usage-based billing, quality of service, and P2P throttling. They use FreeBSD as the basis for their appliances.[14]

Rather than identifying individual messages, spam control is based on identifying sources of spam from behaviors such as using multiple SMTP servers, using multiple source (EHLO) domains and large address books.[15][16]

Quality of service control is provided for a range of media applications including video conferencing, VoIP and gaming.[17][18]

The P2P throttling [19] focuses on Gnutella, and uses a path cost algorithm to reduce speeds while still delivering the same content. Stateful Policy Management [20] uses stateful deep-packet inspection and packet spoofing to allow the networking device to determine the details of the p2p conversation, including the hash requested. The device can then determine the optimal peer to use, and substitute it for the one selected by the P2P algorithm, by "[sitting] in the middle, imitating both ends of the connection, and sending reset packets to both client and server." [21]

The usage-based-billing includes[22] pre-paid and post-paid 3G and 4G mobile access, as well as all fixed access.[23]

According to research by Citizen Lab, products sold by Sandvine are being used facilitated censorship of the Internet in Egypt, an allegation the company denies.[2]

Network neutrality debate[edit]

Sandvine products were used by Comcast in the United States to limit number of sessions of Internet traffic generated by peer-to-peer file sharing software.[24] Sandvine's current traffic discrimination product, Fairshare, is described in detail in an RFC.[25]

According to independent testing,[26] Comcast injected reset packets into peer-to-peer connections, which effectively caused a certain limited number of outbound connections to immediately terminate. This method of network management was described in the IEEE Communications, May 2000 article "Nonintrusive TCP Connection Admission Control for Bandwidth Management of an Internet Access Link".[27]

A product whitepaper published by Sandvine confirms that its products are configurable to use "Session Management" capability to prevent customers using BitTorrent from providing uploads to peers who are not close to them on the network. This affects all uses of BitTorrent (such as open-source project distribution, patch distribution and illegal downloads).

In cases where a subscriber is a “seeder” and uploads content to an off net “leecher”, session management is an effective strategy... the subscriber may be session managed without negative impact. This is the default behaviour for Sandvine’s session management policy and limits external leechers from connecting to internal seeds.[28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cantech Letter interviews Dave Caputo of Sandvine (TSX:SVC)
  2. ^ a b Malsin, Jared (July 18, 2018). "Throughout Middle East, the Web Is Being Walled Off". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on July 19, 2018. According to Citizen Lab, an internet research group at the University of Toronto, Egypt is blocking websites with the help of devices whose digital fingerprint matches those of products sold by Sandvine, a firm based in Fremont, Calif., and Waterloo, Ontario [...] A former Sandvine engineer said the company rolled out a platform for network insights in Egypt in 2016.
  3. ^ Sandvine Incorporated: Press Release - StarHub Selects Sandvine to Deploy End-to-End PacketCable MultiMedia Solution
  4. ^ Sandvine Incorporated: Press Release - Major Wireless Carrier Selects Sandvine’s 10-Gigabit Ethernet Solution to Give Subscribers More Control over their Mobile Internet Experience
  5. ^ Adelphia Selects Sandvine to Protect Subscribers from Worms and Spam. - Free Online Library
  6. ^ Sandvine Management's Discussion and Analysis
  7. ^ Sandvine buys CableMatrix for peanuts; Founder Laurence Rubin is upbeat: This is an opportunity Haaretz, 21.06.07
  8. ^ "Sandvine Acquires Momac for $7.7M | Light Reading". Light Reading. Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  9. ^ Sharma, Ray. "Sandvine Buys TCP Acceleration Firm Teclo Networks". Retrieved 2017-09-22.
  10. ^ Critchley, Barry. "Four years and interest from four private equity firms later, Sandvine is set to be sold". Retrieved 2017-09-28.
  11. ^ "Will a "closer scrutiny" stop the sale of Sandvine Corp. from getting over the line". Financial Post. 2017-07-17. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  12. ^ Fox-Brewster, Thomas. "Is An American Company's Technology Helping Turkey Spy On Its Citizens?". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-11-03.
  13. ^ "BAD TRAFFIC: Sandvine's PacketLogic Devices Used to Deploy Government Spyware in Turkey and Redirect Egyptian Users to Affiliate Ads?". The Citizen Lab. 2018-03-09. Retrieved 2018-03-09.
  14. ^ Maste, Ed (2012-05-23). "FreeBSD at Sandvine". BSDCan 2011.
  17. ^ Sandvine Incorporated: Service Delivery Engine
  18. ^ CNW Group | VECIMA NETWORKS INC. | CableMatrix and VCom Showcase First QoS Enhanced Video Conferencing over WiMAX Solution Archived 2007-01-13 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Meeting the Challenge of Today's Evasive P2P Traffic" Archived 2007-01-01 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ Comcast traffic blocking: even more apps, groupware clients affected
  22. ^ Sandvine Supports Cricket Broadband Internet
  23. ^ Sandvine supports pre- and post-paid service plans across converged networks
  24. ^ Comcast's compliance report to FCC on its previous network management techniques
  25. ^ Comcast's Protocol-Agnostic Congestion Management System
  26. ^ article on Comcast jamming Gnutella and Lotus
  27. ^ Kumar, A.; Hegde, M.; Anand, S.V.R.; Bindu, B.N.; Thirumurthy, D.; Kherani, A.A. (May 2000). "Nonintrusive TCP Connection Admission Control for Bandwidth Management of an Internet Access Link". IEEE Communications Magazine. 38 (5): 160–167. doi:10.1109/35.841841. ISSN 0163-6804.
  28. ^ Session Management: BitTorrent Protocol - Managing the Impact on Subscriber Experience Archived October 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]