Cisco to buy small cell specialist Ubiquisys

Deal will increase Cisco's portfolio in carrier small cell technology

Tags: Cisco Systems IncorporatedUbiquisys (www.ubiquisys.com/)
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Cisco to buy small cell specialist Ubiquisys Ubiquisys specialise in small cell hardware and software.
By  Mark Sutton Published  April 3, 2013

Cisco is set to buy femtocell specialist Ubiquisys for $310m cash.

The UK-based company focuses on intelligent 3G and long-term evolution (LTE) small-cell technologies, with particular expertise in indoor small-cell hardware and intelligent software.

Cisco said that the deal will reinforce its commitment to service providers and strengthen its mobility expertise to deliver more intelligent mobile Internet networks.

"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, Cisco Mobility Business Group. "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."

The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2013.

Daryl Schoolar, principal analyst at Ovum, commented on the deal: "Cisco is no stranger to small cells, but that has been primarily through its carrier Wi-Fi efforts. In the licensed spectrum small cell space Cisco has basically been reliant on its femtocell relationship with AT&T. Outside of its work with AT&T, Cisco's licensed small cell experience has been hard to find. Ubiquisys on the other hand has over 50 customers (vendors and operators) that include Softbank (Japan), SFR (France), and Network Norway. Ubiquisys' small cell experience greatly bolsters Cisco's small cell position.

"The acquisition doesn't just provide Cisco with Ubiquisys' small cell knowhow; it also gives Cisco experience in working with a broader set of mobile operators. Ubiquisys provides Cisco much greater market credibility when it comes to 3G and LTE small cells. Cisco will also benefit by having greater control over Ubiquisys' product development cycle, freeing Cisco from having to rely on the development cycle of third-party partners like IP access.

"Small cell vendors should take Cisco very serious. Not only is Cisco greatly improving what it can offer mobile operators in terms of a licensed small cell, Cisco can also offer those mobile operators other tools, like data analytics, SON, and evolved packet core needed to build a mobile network. This isn't something all of Cisco's competitors can claim."

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