& cplSiteName &

Taqua Acquires Kineto for VoWiFi Push

Sarah Thomas
9/4/2014
50%
50%

Taqua and Kineto Wireless, partners in powering voice-over-WiFi (VoWiFi) for Sprint, are now one and the same, as Taqua confirmed Wednesday it has acquired the WiFi vendor.

In the Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) deployment, its first as a team, Kineto Wireless Inc. 's Smart WiFi Android client powers WiFi calling over a user's home or office network by tapping into Taqua LLC 's virtual mobile core to determine the strongest signal and connect to either the WiFi or cellular network. Kineto, now Taqua, CMO Ken Kolderup says it made sense for the companies to go from partners to an acquisition given the complementary nature of their technologies. (See Taqua Lets Mobile Users Talk Over WiFi and Sprint Selects Kineto for WiFi Calling.)

In fact, since the Sprint win was formally announced in February, it has racked up several dozen more wireless operator customers -- two of which it plans to announce on Monday, who were asking the companies to combine, Kolderup says.

"We're working together well," he adds. "We have no overlap in product or organization and were already working together in development, sales and business development."

Kineto tackles the technology from the smartphone side of things through partnerships with all the Android device makers to run calls over WiFi and seamlessly transition between it and cellular. It is behind T-Mobile US Inc. 's VoWiFi service, which it has been offering since 2007, although T-Mobile -- like Sprint -- chooses not to enable the handoff feature. (See Kineto Beefs Up WiFi Calling Features and Taqua Extends VoWiFi to UMTS.)

Kineto and Taqua also hold important VoWiFi patents that they were able to combine, along with their respective employees. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it officially closed two weeks ago leaving all 100 employees in place, save Kineto CEO Jeff Brown and CFO Martin Hernandez who both left the company. The combined company has moved into Taqua's headquarters in Richardson, Texas.

Kineto had been on the scene since 2001, raising $45.4 million in 10 rounds of funding from six investors, including venture capitalists and Motorola Solutions. The well-funded company has relationships with nearly every Android handset maker and an extensive operator customer roster, making this more of a merger of technologies than a big company gobbling up a weaker player. Taqua, which has been around since 1998, has only raised $20 million in one round from six venture capitalists, but it has its hands in multiple parts of the mobile value chain, also including small cells, backhaul and voice-over-LTE.


Want to know more about WiFi advancements? Check out our dedicated carrier WiFi content channel here on Light Reading.


Wireless operators are starting to dip their toes into WiFi calling, but you can bet the market is going to take off much more quickly moving forward. Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has included support for WiFi calling in iOS8 via a homegrown proprietary method, removing the one barrier holding operators back, according to Kolderup. Now that all Androids and iOS devices are covered, he expects a domino effect of launches to occur. (See T-Mobile Jazzed With WiFi Calling on New Apple iOS.)

That's including cable companies, too, who have increasingly been building out their WiFi footprints as well. Kolderup says they are in talks with several MSOs, as well as alternative service providers and MVNOs, all looking for ways to make the most of existing WiFi footprints.

"We're a one-stop shop now to do [VoWiFi]," adds Frederick Reynolds, Taqua's VP of marketing. "For a large CLEC, MVNO or operator, they can turn to Taqua and have the client perspective on all Androids and a core that works with standards-based WiFi calling clients like Apple’s iOS 8."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
WillieFDiaz
100%
0%
WillieFDiaz,
User Rank: Light Beer
9/24/2014 | 3:15:29 AM
Re: WiFi's calling
Lets be honest here. While VoWiFi has been around for years, and T-Mobile has captitalized on it with roaming, international calling and offering service in areas it couldn't get towers to cover, it still has a major issue with hand-off. UMA was flawless, but only on BlackBerry - surprisingly, T-Mobile chose NOT to carry this over to Android (as we know it can handoff fine) likely because billing issues and people not fully understanding the costs of WiFi-Carrier-WiFi calls. Rate plans have changed, add-on options for free calls have changed, so now we are looking at a bit of a boom.

Here is where things get sticky. Customers of VoWiFi have to understand...

1. Locked or Secured WiFi, or Authentication Required WiFi are still a problem. While WiFi is almost all over now, 99% of them are locked down, or require connecting, logging in and opening a browser to authenticate. This is tedious, and often has mistakes, leaving the user to think they may be connected, when in fact, they are not. Missed calls and texts is the big issue here.

2. WiFi, while all over, still is almost no where you will need it. On the bus, on a train, sometimes even on the street and in a park, you are unlikely to find one that is unsecured that you can piggy back onto. The quality, if you do find one, is really bad, as everyone else knows it is unsecured and logged into it as well. Aside from this, WiFi never was designed or managed in recent updates and standards to perform soft handoff. It is a hard handoff, drops the signal, reconnects. Leaving the data, stranded, and dropped as well.

3. LTE is still too new to be reliable. WiFi is too congested to be reliable. Combined, you need one to really back up the other, but at the same time, the consumer experience in the short run, may be a viable solution, as it has been for the last 8 years for T-Mobile, but in the long term, it needs to evolve. This is the FIRST evolution of VoWiFi in that time. In fact, the transition from LTE to WiFi is awesome for carriers - lowers the cost of carrying the call, the spectum efficiency jumps up majorly, and the user experience for those who are on the network and not WiFi should be much better with the off loaded traffic, but at the cost for the consumer, who is now paying more for both LTE on the device, and WiFi at home or the work place. Keep in mind, T-Mobile, the major pusher of VoWiFi, used to own and operate their own WiFi HotSpot network, which now is defunct. In order for carriers to capitalize and offer seamless, ubiquitous, and trusted service, AT&T and T-Mobile need to really push their WiFi networks back to the levels of a data network currently is in LTE. Deploy deploy deploy!! And let the data usage, voice, and texts, all be inclusive, not only that, allow calls and messages, and data to seamlessly hand off from one WiFi network to another, not just VoLTE to WiFi and back. Rely more on WiFi than the network is the goal.

 

Thats just my thoughts.
mhhf1ve
100%
0%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/4/2014 | 7:01:47 PM
Re: WiFi's calling
I saw that FreedomPop offers a free voice app... but I haven't checked it out to see if it's VoWiFi or just some Skype-like kludge to get voice over IP.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
DT: Telcos Must Escape Vendor Prison
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/24/2016
AT&T to Start 5G 'Friendly' Trial by 2016 End
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2016
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.