Cisco’s appetite for multi-billion dollar acquisitions shows no sign of abating as it announced plans to gobble up Starent Networks.
The networking supernova has agreed to pay about $2.9bn for Starent, which supplies IP-based mobile infrastructure solutions to carriers.
The deal, which is expected to close in the first-half of 2010, comes hot on the heels of Cisco’s $3bn move for videoconferencing giant Tandberg.
Cisco claimed the mobile internet market is at an inflexion point and expects global mobile data traffic to double every year until 2013.
Upon completion of the transaction Starent will become Cisco’s Mobile Internet Technology Group, led by Starent chief executive Ashraf Dahod.
Dahod said: “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.”
Cliff Fox, managing director of Cisco partner SICL, welcomed the vendor’s hunger to acquire while the market is down.
“Cisco is on a strong acquisition run right now because the market is low and it can buy efficiently with a big war chest behind it,” he said.
“Tandberg is interesting to us as we came up against them competitively.”
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