Mobile infrastructure market realigned with Cisco Starent acquisition

Mobile infrastructure market vendors will be facing a bigger competitor in Cisco next year because Cisco plans to fill a gap in its mobile infrastructure strategy by acquiring Starent Networks (Tewksbury, Mass.) for $2.9 billion. Starent, the IP-based mobile infrastructure solutions niche player is already well known among carriers, having Verizon Wireless and Sprint among its wireless operator customers, to name only two.

Announcing the proposed acquisition put other mobile infrastructure vendors on notice that Cisco will be a bigger player in their market. The big advantage for Cisco is that Starent's mobile solutions can manage access from 2.5G, 3G and 4G (LTE and WiMAX) wireless networks to a mobile operator's packet core network. If the deal goes through with no problems, Cisco will be well positioned to bid for carrier business as wireless operators upgrade their networks to handle increasing amounts of wireless multimedia traffic .

To get a snapshot of what the acquisition bid means for Cisco and its competitors, SearchTelecom.com editor Kate Gerwig talked to Godfrey Chua, research manager of Wireless and Mobile Infrastructure at IDC.

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