& 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
Download our complete guide to de-risking NFV deployment in 2016, including:
  • An eight-step strategy to deploying NFV safely, based on input from the companies that have already started virtualizing their production networks.
  • Interviews with leading executives at Colt, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Cisco, Nokia, ZTE, Ericsson and Heavy Reading.
  • Flash Poll
    Live Streaming Video
    Prepping for the Future: Upskill U Explained
    During this short kick-off video, Doug Webster, Vice President of Service Provider Marketing, Cisco, and Light Reading’s CEO & Founder Steve Saunders give an overview of Upskill U.
    LRTV Interviews
    AT&T Expert on the Key Pillars of UC

    4|29|16   |   03:58   |   (0) comments


    Vishy Gopalakrishnan, AVP of product marketing at AT&T, talks about the three developments that are making unified communications and collaboration secure and reliable for enterprise users.
    LRTV Documentaries
    LRTV Report: Mobile Core Innovation

    4|28|16   |   25:32   |   (0) comments


    Hear from multiple industry experts from Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom, Heavy Reading, Huawei, Cisco, Ericsson, Nokia, NEC and many more about developments in the mobile core as operators virtualize their IMS and evolved packet core systems and prepare for a 5G world.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    NFV World Congress Highlight

    4|26|16   |     |   (0) comments


    The highlight of the NFV World Congress contains exciting telecom news. Join us for an inside look at Huawei's ICT 2020 plan and its latest collaboration with industry leaders.
    LRTV Interviews
    Unified Comms Finds Its Voice

    4|25|16   |   03:44   |   (0) comments


    Peter Quinlan, VP of UCC Product Management at Tata Communications, talks about the evolution of the unified communications and collaboration services sector and how voice is now a big part of current developments.
    LRTV Documentaries
    So... What Do We Do Now?

    4|25|16   |   03:24   |   (0) comments


    After a long hiatus, Max Dingman, the CEO of a GeeGhiz, returns for a motivational board room pep talk.
    LRTV Documentaries
    NAB 2016 Highlights

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    Light Reading's Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick climbs down from the slots to tell us about the latest news in broadcast technology at NAB 2016 in Las Vegas.
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Deepfield's Craig Labovitz

    4|21|16   |     |   (0) comments


    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.
    Shades of Ray
    Leading Lights 2016: Shortlists Announced

    4|20|16   |   0:53   |   (0) comments


    The judging is over and the Leading Lights 2016 shortlists have been published -- you can see who made the cut by clicking on this link.
    LRTV Custom TV
    Introducing MulteFire – Qualcomm at MWC 2016

    4|18|16   |   3.29   |   (0) comments


    MulteFire is the latest option for using LTE in unlicensed spectrum. As oppose to its close 'siblings', LAA and LTE-U, MulteFire operates solely in unlicensed spectrum, which enables it to offer the best of two worlds – LTE-like performance with WiFi-like deployment simplicity. In this interview, Sanjeev Athalye, Sr. Director, Product Management at Qualcomm ...
    Between the CEOs
    CEO Chat: Grant Van Rooyen of Cologix

    4|18|16   |     |   (0) comments


    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.
    LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
    ONS 2016 – Demonstration of Huawei's NetMatrix Multi-Vendor SDN Orchestrator

    4|15|16   |     |   (0) comments


    This demonstration shows how Huawei's NetMatrix SDN Orchestrator (SDN-O) addresses an operator's core service agility needs for services spanning multi-domain, multivendor networks: it includes a demonstration of:
    - Rapid New Service Design: using YANG to model a complex example of multi-domain, multivendor L3VPN network connectivity service that ...
    LRTV Custom TV
    AT&T Wants to Own North Carolina

    4|15|16   |     |   (1) comment


    Venessa Harrison, president of North Carolina for AT&T, tells how the company will expand its GigaPower service beyond the seven N.C. cities it already serves.

  • This blog, sponsored by AT&T, is the second part of a ten-part series examining next-generation broadband technologies titled "Behind the Speeds."
  • Upcoming Live Events
    May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
    May 23, 2016, Austin Convention Center
    May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
    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
    Ultra-Broadband Summit, Hong Kong
    Iain Morris, News Editor, 4/27/2016
    WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches
    Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 4/29/2016
    FCC Poised to Re-Regulate Wholesale Access
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 4/28/2016
    Mitel Asks: What Time of Day Do You Shower?
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/25/2016
    GoT Fans Curse HBO (Not Right) Now
    Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2016
    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

    Of all the tech companies in the Valley, Intel has made the most aggressive commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. It's doing so by taking concrete, measurable steps, making a large financial investment and through a commitment to complete transparency about its progress. In this radio show, WiC Director Sarah Thomas will be joined by Shlomit Weiss, Intel's Vice President, Data Center Group, and General Manager of Networking Engineering, who will share with us why Intel is tackling this huge challenge, how and to what effect. She will also discuss her unique experiences leading development of Client SOC development in the past and today leading development of all of the chipmaker's silicon hardware for networking IPs and discrete devices and managing a team of 600 engineers across Israel, Europe and the US.