Cisco Targets Network Management With Intucell Deal

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Cisco is to spend nearly half a billion dollars in order to acquire mobile networking specialist Intucell

Cisco Systems is going tobuyIsrael-based Intucell Systems, as the networking giant continues to enhance its network management capabilities.

Cisco announced it would pay approximately $475 million (£300m) in cash to acquire Intucell, in a deal that is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to customary closing conditions and approvals.

Network Management

Intucell, makes advanced self-optimising network (SON) software, a field that Cisco increasingly views as extremely important, so it is prepared to invest heavily.

Intucell’s software is aimed at mobile operators and carriers, and allows them to “plan, configure, manage, optimise and heal cellular networks automatically, according to real-time changing network demands.”

Cisco believes that network management is becoming an increasingly vital issue for mobile operators due to the proliferation of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones, all of which are demanding faster connection speeds and are placing a bandwidth capacity crunch on mobile networks. Some hope the arrival of 4G networks will ease this capacity crunch, but this could be unlikely due to the increasing number of devices and the increasingly availability of rich data.

Indeed, Cisco itself believes that global IP traffic will continue to grow tremendously going forward, as does analyst houses Ovum and IDC.

Intucell’s SON software platform is designed to help operators optimise network bandwidth, usage and services, by “examining the network, identifying issues in real time, and intelligently adapting the network to meet demand.”

“The mobile network of the future must be able to scale intelligently to address growing and often unpredictable traffic patterns, while also enabling carriers to generate incremental revenue streams,” said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Service Provider Mobility Group.

“Through the addition of Intucell’s industry-leading SON technology, Cisco’s service provider mobility portfolio provides operators with unparalleled network intelligence and the unique ability to not only accommodate exploding network traffic, but to profit from it,” Ahuja said.

Cisco said that Intucell staff will be integrated into Cisco’s Service Provider Mobility Group, reporting to Shailesh Shukla, vice president and general manager, Software and Applications Group.

Acquisition Spree

Cisco is not averse to opening its cheque book to snap up suitable companies, and has been making a big play to beef up its network management credentials. Last December for example it acquired BroadHop, in a move to enhance its carrier networks portfolio. It also spend $141 million (£87m) acquiring network traffic management vendor Cariden Technologies.

Earlier in the year Cisco bolstered its network management tools for service providers after it acquired the software business of ClearAccess.

CEO John Chambers has recently pledged to continue Cisco’s aggressive acquisition strategy to help build out its technology portfolio. This includes the $5 billion (£3bn) purchase of NDS Group for video software and security, and $1.2 billion (£740m) for Meraki for mobile device management. It has also purchased Cariden and Cloupia.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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