Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) plans to plunk down $310 million for Swindon, U.K.-based Ubiquisys, which makes 3G and 4G long-term evolution (LTE) small-cell technology for seamless cellular connectivity across mobile networks.
What does Cisco want with Ubiquisys? Small cells are mini cellular base stations and provide a low-power signal closer to mobile users than traditional macro networks. Cisco said by buying Ubiquisys, it is “doubling down,” (don’t you just love the omnipresent poker references these days?) on its small-cell technology business to drive growth in the mobility market. Furthermore, the company said the acquisition complements its prior purchases of BroadHop and Intucell to reinforce its existing in-house WiFi and licensed radio technology.
The deal, which is expected to close in Cisco’s fiscal Q4 2013, includes retention-based incentives for Ubiquisys personnel. Cisco’s cash will buy it the entire Ubiquisys business and operations, all of which will be folded into the vendor’s Mobility Business Group, reporting to Partho Mishra, Cisco Service Provider Small Cell Technology Group vice president and general manager.
"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,” said Kelly Ahuja, Cisco Mobility Business Group senior vice president and general manager. “For service providers, Ubiquisys supports cost effective coverage and capacity that delivers a differentiated customer experience."
Cisco said that the Ubiquisys acquisition will add to its cadre of small cells, which help mobile service providers handle the ever-growing number of web-enabled devices logged onto their networks. Service providers sometimes offload network traffic overloads onto small cells to increase capacity and optimize spectrum in a cost-effective manner. Small cells deliver their signal over a shorter range, which allows mobile users to get a faster, more consistent voice and data experience. By integrating Ubiquisys into its service provider portfolio, Cisco said it will be able to offer a “differentiated connected experience” to users by adding an intelligence layer to the mobile network.