Cisco Plans Another Mobility Buy


Cisco Wednesday announced plans to acquire Ubiquisys, a privately held and U.K.-based manufacturer of 3G and 4G small-cell technologies for mobile networks.

Cisco will plunk down roughly $310 million in the deal, and acquire the entirety of Ubiquisys' business and operations. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Cisco said the acquisition will bulk up its mobility practice and expand its lineup of small cells, or mini cellular base stations that help mobile service providers handle the growing number of web-enabled devices tapping into their networks. When network traffic increases, small cells allow some of that traffic to be off-loaded onto them, enabling service providers to increase capacity and optimize spectrum assets. Small cells also deliver signals over shorter ranges so mobile users have a faster and more consistent experience on their devices, Cisco said.

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"Cisco is 'doubling down' on its small-cell business to accelerate strong momentum and growth in the mobility market," said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco Mobility Business Group, in a statement. "By acquiring Ubiquisys, we are expanding on our current mobility leadership and our end-to-end product portfolio, which includes integrated, licensed and unlicensed small-cell solutions that are tightly coupled with SON, backhaul, and the mobile packet core. For service providers, Ubiquisys supports cost effective coverage and capacity that delivers a differentiated customer experience."

Cisco said Ubiquisys' product portfolio and team will be integrated into its Small Cell Technology Group led by Partho Mishra.

Cisco's Ubiquisys buy is the latest in a string of acquisitions by the networking giant aimed at bolstering its mobility practice. In February, Cisco completed its acquisition of Intucell, a maker of self-optimizing network (SON) platforms for optimizing 4G, or long-term evolution (LTE), networks.

In December, Cisco revealed plans to buy BroadHop, a Denver-based specialist in policy control and service management technology for carrier networks. Cisco said both BroadHop and Intucell technologies will be rolled in its Service Provider Mobility Group.

PUBLISHED APRIL 3, 2013