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Packet core

Rumor: Juniper Eyeing Bytemobile

Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) is "seriously considering" buying mobile network optimization company Bytemobile Inc. , a research note from Avian Securities LLC suggests this morning.

"Our industry contacts indicate the company is seriously considering acquiring Bytemobile," writes Catharine Trebnick, senior research analyst at Avian. Juniper needs to look at acquisitions in the mobile space because "the company still lacks Wireless DNA required to grow the service provider market segment," Trebnick notes.

Analysts have suggested for a couple of months that Juniper is lacking a full portfolio of wireless products. The company has so far said that it will build out mobile packet core offerings -- code-named "Project Falcon" -- using its new MX 3D routers. (See Juniper's Wireless Worry and Juniper Looks Inward for Wireless.)

Bytemobile, however, is focused on stretching the performance of existing 2G and 3G networks, rather than building an architecture that will eventually end up in 4G networks. The company provides Web optimization applications for mobile carriers to accelerate wireless data performance and free up capacity without needing to add more spectrum.

Bytemobile already has a partnership with F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV), and Avian says that the firm has a similar deal in place with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See Bytemobile, F5 Boost 3G Capacity.) "Our contacts indicated both F5 Networks and Cisco are also interested in this market segment and have OEM relationships with Bytemobile," Trebnick writes.

Cisco recently bought major wireless vendor Starent Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: STAR) for $2.9 billion. (See Cisco to Buy Starent for $2.9B.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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