Cisco targets Mobile Internet, acquires Starent

We know how serious Cisco is on becoming 4G Leader in the mobile space as a provider. But what we see today, gives cisco another opportunity in Mobile space: Rich multimedia on Mobiles.

Cisco has announced they’ll be acquiring Starent Networks for $2.9 billion.  When the deal is completed, expected to close during the first half of 2010, Starent Networks will become the new Mobile Internet Technology Group at Cisco, led by Starent Networks’ President and CEO Ashraf Dahod.

Starent Networks enables mobile operators to deliver rich multimedia on mobiles — video, mobile TV, audio, and games. Starent’s technology helps operators to scale their infrastructure and deliver content on 2.5G, 3G and 4G radio networks.

The Starrent is a Massachusetts-based company that was set up less than ten years ago but these days employs about 1,000 people, mostly at its development centre in Bangalore.

It’s developers create routing and management systems to carry IP packets over cellular networks, which are then integrated into all the popular wireless technologies as well as being ideally suited for LTE – the next generation of wireless that’s much more IP-based.

Those systems have already been deployed at more than 100 operators in 45 countries, including the LTE-capable system sold by Motorola amongst others.

“Combining Cisco’s strength in video and IP with Starent Networks’ leading mobile infrastructure solutions creates a compelling portfolio of products that provides an integrated architecture to offer rich, quality multimedia experiences to mobile subscribers on 3G and 4G networks,” said Starent CEO Ashraf Dahod.

Video traffic will make up 64 percent of the world’s data traffic by 2013,” Romanski said. “That puts pressure on the providers. The combination of Cisco and Starent will mean faster feeds, better content, more robust interaction with your mobile device.”

Today, mobiles aren’t just about making and receiving phone calls; smartphones are on the rise, and users of these devices expect a rich multimedia experience. With its second big acquisition this month (they also acquired Tandberg).

Cisco is using the recession to extend its range of services and position itself to the mobile future.  ahead of us.

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