Cisco Acquires Small Cell Startup Ubiquisys For $310 Million

Cisco Systems has acquired UK-based small cell technology company Ubiquisys for $310 million in cash and employee retention.  Cisco started to seriously explore small cell technology around five years ago when they made a strategic investment in the picocell and femtocell company, ip.access.

Small cells are radio access nodes that are low-powered and operates in licensed and unlicensed spectrum that have a range at between 10 meters and 2 kilometers.  Small cells help offloads mobile data traffic to a wired backhaul service.  The small cells also help macrocells free up capacity.  Ubiquisys is one of the largest companies that are focused on this field according to ABI Research.

Image credit: Ubiquisys

Image credit: Ubiquisys

Ubiquisys offers clients a self-optimizing network architecture known as EdgeCloud, which is delivered in partnership with Intel.  Essentially Ubiquisys works like a content delivery network (CDN) for mobile.

Cisco has made three major acquisitions in the past four months that enhances their mobile strategies.  The company acquired Broadhop in December and Intucell in January.  Below is a statement that Cisco’s head of corporate business development said in blog post about the deal:

Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire Ubiquisys, a privately-held company headquartered in Swindon, UK for $310 million in cash and employee retention incentives. Ubiquisys is a leading provider of intelligent 3G and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) small-cell technologies that provides seamless connectivity across mobile heterogeneous networks for service providers.

The acquisition of Ubiquisys exemplifies Cisco’s innovation framework based on a build, buy and partner approach. The Ubiquisys acquisition also complements Cisco’s mobility strategy along with the recent acquisitions of BroadHop and Intucell, reinforcing in-house research and development, such as service provider Wi-Fi and licensed radio. These technologies will tie together the mobility architecture that leverages the intelligence of the network from the wireless edge of the network into the wired core.

As carriers around the world increase cellular data capacity to serve the rapidly growing population of smartphone and tablet users, adding small cells is one of the most cost-effective ways to multiply data capacity and make better use of scarce spectrum assets. Ubiquisys’ indoor small cells expertise and its focus on intelligent software for licensed 3G and LTE spectrum, coupled with Cisco’s mobility portfolio and its Wi-Fi expertise, will enable a comprehensive small cell solution to service providers that supports the transition to next generation radio access networks.

The acquisition of Ubiquisys further reinforces Cisco’s commitment to service providers and strengthens Cisco’s mobility capabilities to continue to extend the intelligent mobile network.

Ubiquisys’ product portfolio and team will be integrated into our Small Cell Technology Group led by Partho Mishra.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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