Monday, October 12, 2009

Cisco to Acquire Starent for Mobile Packet Core

Cisco agreed to acquire Starent Networks for approximately $2.9 billion, or $35 per share in cash -- a premium of about 20% over the stock's recent trading value. The acquisition helps Cisco build out is mobile Internet portfolio, providing an entry point to the packet core of mobile network operators worldwide. Starent's packet core solutions gain strategically significance as operators adopt all-IP architectures with the move to 4G.

Starent Networks is a leading supplier of IP-based mobile infrastructure solutions targeting mobile and converged carriers. The company provides the multimedia intelligence, core network functions and services to manage access from any 2.5G, 3G, and 4G radio network to a mobile operator's packet core network. Starent Networks' access-independent technology is deployed in CDMA2000 (1X, EV-DO), UMTS/HSPA and WiMax networks.

In addition to high-speed data throughput, an IP core has the potential to deliver network intelligence through packet inspection and management. This could enable intelligent traffic control for policy enforcement of advanced services.

Starent Networks was founded in 2000 and completed its initial public offering in 2007. The company is based in Tewksbury, Mass. and has approximately 1,000 employees worldwide. For the year ended Dec. 31, 2008, Starent Networks reported revenue of $254.1 million, up 74 percent from the prior year.

Earlier this year, Verizon Wireless selected Starent Networks as a key supplier for the packet core. The company claims over 100 operator deployments in 40+ countries, including eight of the top 10 3G operators.

  • Starent Networks is headed by Ashraf M. Dahod (CEO and co-founder), who previously co-founded NetCore Systems, a producer of large-scale, high performance switching products, which was acquired by Tellabs in 1999. Starent's technical team includes Anthony P. Schoener(VP of engineering and a co-founder), who previously served as Director of Software Development at 3Com Corporation.

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