Cisco to Buy AT&T's Favorite SON Startup
Intucell, based in Ra'anana, Israel, produces self-optimization network (SON) technology to improve 4G network performance. SON technology performs multiple tasks, such as automatically detecting when a site is down and routing users to the next-best cell, or enabling cells to share bandwidth when network capacity is limited.
Intucell has been working with AT&T on SON since April 2011. The operator announced in February 2012 that it would deploy the optimization techniques on its network during the year ahead.
John Donovan, senior EVP of AT&T technology and network operations, said of Intucell's technology in February 2012 that it had shown "as much as a 10 percent improvement in call retainability, 10 percent improvement in throughput speeds and 15 percent reduction in overloading."
Light Reading identified Intucell as a possible Cisco M&A target in Oct. 2012.
Why this matters
The Intucell buyout, which is expected to close in Cisco's third financial quarter of 2013, will allow the vendor to get its hooks deeper into AT&T wireless operations, to which it already supplies 3G femtocells.
The deal also gives Cisco complementary technology that is well suited to automatically manage small-cell networks, which are going to present network operators with new challenges as thousands of new radios come online.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile