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Cisco plans to buy UK-based Ubiquisys

US networking giant Cisco wants to extend its service provider portfolio by picking up UK-based small cell specialist Ubiquisys

Networking goliath Cisco has announced its intent to buy UK firm Ubiquisys for $310m.

The acquisition will be the company’s fourth in 2013 as it continues its strategy to extend its portfolio through the buying up of other companies, rather than focus 100% on internal research and development.

Swindon-based Ubiquisys specialises in indoor small cell technology for boosting operators' mobile signals in hard-to-reach locations. It also created a software platform for managing the devices, which work with 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi signals.

Cisco hopes the technology, coupled with its own mobile and Wi-Fi solutions, will appeal to the service provider market and help build its customer numbers in the burgeoning sector.

Daryl Schoolar, principal analyst at Ovum, said the deal would help Cisco make more friends in the small cell space, after a reliance on carrier partners and specifically AT&T in recent years.

“The acquisition doesn’t just provide Cisco with Ubiquisys’s small cell know-how; it also gives Cisco experience in working with a broader set of mobile operators,” he said. “Ubiquisys provides Cisco much greater market credibility when it comes to 3G and LTE small cells.

“Cisco will also benefit by having greater control over Ubiquisys’s product development cycle, freeing Cisco from having to rely on the development cycle of third-party partners.”

The acquisition is expected to complete by the end of Cisco’s fiscal year 2013 and will see the employees of Ubiquisys join the service provider mobility group. However, Cisco had not confirmed if all the employees would stay onboard at the time of publication.

Computer Weekly also asked whether the company would remain based in the UK and specifically target UK or European service providers, but again Cisco had not responded.

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