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3G/HSPA

Lucent Moves on Mobilitec

Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) said Tuesday it plans to acquire the mobile content company Mobilitec Inc. for an undisclosed cash amount. (See Lucent to Buy Mobilitec.)

San Mateo, Calif.-based Mobilitec sells content management software to wireless service providers, which in turn use the technology to sell mobile content like ringtones, games, music, and videos to subscribers.

Lucent says it plans to integrate the Mobilitec technology as an applications server component in its IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and 3G wireless product portfolios. Lucent will use the platform to push content to both mobile and wireline broadband subscribers.

Lucent's VP of application services, Dave Geary, says his company’s service provider customers have an immediate need for the sort of content Mobilitec enables.

"They've been servicing the digital content and delivery space and there has obviously been a significant opportunity,” Geary says. Mobilitec’s customer roster already includes Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD), Orange Israel, and MobileOne Ltd. (M1) (Singapore: MONE), the companies point out.

Pyramid Research says the global market for mobile content services will reach $73 billion by 2010. That estimate includes sales of such things as ringtones, games, information, music, video, and graphics.

Lucent and Mobilitec spokespeople would give no information about the transaction price when asked Tuesday afternoon.

So we're forced to speculate, or find brave souls who will. “I can’t imagine that it was very much, otherwise they would have announced the number,” says Prudential Equity Group LLC analyst Inder Singh. “I’m sure it was sub-a-hundred [million], and I can’t imagine much more than fifty.”

“This acquisition is just Lucent rounding out its portfolio in the wireless,” Singh adds.

The Mobilitec technology will reside at the application services layer of Lucent’s IMS architecture. Lucent says the technology will deliver specific content to users based on their presence, interests, and usage habits.

“Our target has been mainly on the wireless side, but as we see the convergence of the networks there’s certainly nothing particular about the technology that isolates it to the wireless,” says Mobilitec CEO Margaret Norton.

Mobilitec’s 70 employees will become part of Lucent's applications business, the companies say.

The transaction is expected to close by Dec. 31, 2006.

— Mark Sullivan, Reporter, Light Reading

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