You know a market is hot when large giant companies are out shopping for technology. VoIP being the newest hot market, it is not surprising that Cisco and Alcatel have gone on a shopping binge. Over last two weeks the only two companies with any kind of financial muscle have been shopping. Now there is word that they might be tussling over Italian softswitch vendor, Italtel, an Italian company that recently postponed its IPO plans. “We’re happy to see there’s lots of interest in our success, and that two companies with very different propositions are looking at Italtel,” says Executive VP Franco Serio says, then adds, “If it’s true.” According to Infonetics, Nortel and Italtel are #1 and #2 in the softswitch market. And since Nortel is a tough buy, ergo Italtel is a good option. One of these companies is going to be disappointed, and then would go looking for another vendor. My guess: Veraz Networks. And that should make Promod Haque quite happy. Haque, a partner at Norwest Venture Partners had invested in Nexverse, which went bankrupt, and then cameback as Veraz. I am noodling ofcourse, but it should be interesting couple of weeks for the softswitch business. Softswitch market has been scorching— in 2003 it grew by 42.4% and In-Stat/MDR expects acompound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 64.6%, between 2003 and 2008, resulting in revenues of $2.05 billion.