Cisco buys mobile core-as-a-service specialist WG2

US networking giant is augmenting its mobile core offering with the acquisition of Norwegian outfit Working Group Two.

To be precise, Cisco already had a piece of WG2 and is buying out the other main investor – Telenor – at an enterprise value of $150 million. As it’s name implies, WG2 started as a development project within Telenor before it was spun out with the help of Digital Alpha, a fund that seems to represent Cisco’s interest in the venture. Before this deal, Telenor still had a 44.6% piece of the action.

The bright idea behind WG2 was to develop a cloud-native mobile core, with all the flexibility and scalability associated with the cloud. CEO Erlend Prestgard was a guest on the Podcast last year, so we recommend you listen to that if you want the full story behind the company.

“Cisco will build on the as-a-service model to realize benefits for the full mobile industry, having already seen success with IoT and private networks,” said a WG2 blog, co-authored by Prestgard. “The as-a-service delivery model allows for consistent deployments, reduced complexity, global scale, programmability, and continuous innovation and security management. By expanding this model to cover the entire spectrum of mobile use cases, Cisco can provide simplified access to our latest innovations while enabling customers to focus resources on their core business and deliver new use cases faster.”

“WG2 and Cisco have a unique synergy,” blogged Masum Mir, GM of Cisco Networking: Provider Mobility. “We share a common ambition to deliver a global, programmable mobile core as a service, and are remarkably aligned to this shared vision. The goal? To enable our Communication Service Provider customers to cover ground faster, as we work together to monetize their 5G investments.

“The consumption model is simple and comprehensive, supporting all stakeholders. The end result is a mobility services platform that can dramatically simplify Mobile network deployments, provide enhanced edge experiences, enable new and advanced use cases, as well as support simple application development.”

IIt’s not clear why this move only warrants a blog, as opposed to a full press release, but if it performs as advertised it could give Cisco a real competitive advantage in the mobile core market. Furthermore, Cisco is positioning it as a boost to its IoT offering, which the company has been investing in heavily for years. Let’s see.


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