Cisco snaps up Starent in $3bn deal

Networking giant Cisco reaffirmed its presence in the telco space, on Tuesday announcing an agreement to acquire IP and multimedia kit vendor Starent Networks for $2.9bn.

Starent provides multimedia intelligence platforms for core network functions and services on any 2.5G, 3G, and 4G network between the radio and the packet core networks. With the increasing focus on mobile internet, Starent has been picking up deals for 4G networks such as Verizon’s LTE rollout in the US and Freedom4’s WiMAX deployment in the UK.

Cisco reckons that global mobile data traffic is set to more than double every year through 2013, justifying the acquisition.

When the deal is completed, Starent will become Cisco’s new Mobile Internet Technology Group and will be headed up by Starent’s president and CEO Ashraf Dahod.

“Cisco and Starent Networks share a common vision and bring complementary technologies designed to accelerate the transition to the Mobile Internet, where the network is the platform for Service Providers to launch, deliver and monetize the next generation of mobile multimedia applications and services,” said Pankaj Patel, senior vice president and general manager for the company’s service provider business.

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