Rumor: Cisco Hunts for LTE Policy Control Smarts

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) could be on the wireless acquisition trail again -- looking to buy up a policy control vendor to build up its mobile strategy, according to a new research note from Avian Securities LLC .

"Industry contacts indicate that Cisco is looking at Bridgewater Systems and OPENET as possible acquisitions to round out its mobile internet portfolio," writes Catharine Trebnick, a senior research analyst at Avian. "We believe Cisco is looking at these assets to enhance their offering for 3G and 4G networks and this is in-line [with] the company's mobile video strategy."

Policy control systems allow operators more insight and flexibility in managing data sessions on their mobile networks. The core network hardware and software allow operators to have more control over the bandwidth that will be used before a data session and apply controls on high-value, high-traffic sessions like mobile video. A policy control acquisition would build on the evolving mobile traffic control strategy that Cisco kicked off by buying Starent Networks for $2.9 billion in October 2009. (See LTE Core Action Heats Up and Cisco to Buy Starent for $2.9B.)

Bridgewater Systems Corp. (Toronto: BWC) has a 3G contract with Verizon Wireless and will provide Long Term Evolution (LTE) gear for MetroPCS Inc. (NYSE: PCS) The company is no stranger to M&A chatter; there was speculation about a buyout back in 2009.

Openet Telecom Ltd. , meanwhile, has a deal for parental content control at Orange France . "Openet has a long-standing relationship with Cisco," Avian's Trebnick notes.

Interest in the M&A prospects in the policy control sector kicked up recently after Tekelec bought up Camiant Inc. for $130 million. (See Tekelec Closes Camiant Buy.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:34:28 PM
re: Rumor: Cisco Hunts for LTE Policy Control Smarts

Openet issued a statement on Thursday, noting that Cisco is indeed "one of a number of strategic partners for our business. However, Openet is not currently involved in acquisition discussions; rather, our top priority is to focus on the growth of our business and our leadership in this market.  There's more here.    Nothing quite as formal coming from Bridgewater yet, however. JB



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