Small cells

Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M

Cisco Systems Inc. said Wednesday morning that it will buy Ubiquisys for US$310 million in cash and retention-based incentives to give it a complete 3G and 4G small cell portfolio.

Cisco has been rumored to be looking for more small cell smarts for some time now. Instead of its long-time partner ip.access, however, it has chosen to buy another major U.K.-based startup as it moves towards 4G LTE small cells. (See Rumor: Cisco Seeks Small-Cells Smarts.)

Analysts see Cisco as a potential candidate to supply operators like Verizon Wireless with 4G small cells. The vendor, however, hasn't introduced a 4G offering yet. (See Cisco: A Verizon 4G Small Cell Provider?)

Cisco is already big in the 3G femtocell market with the AT&T Inc. microcell. The vendor has been working with the operator on that device, developed with ip.access, since September 2009. (See Cisco Claims AT&T Femto as Its Own.)

Apparently, Cisco now considers Ubiquisys its best buy to move ahead into a 4G small cell future. The deal is expected to close by the fourth quarter of this year.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

mendyk 4/4/2013 | 4:49:05 PM
re: Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M Peter Noone is available as a spokesperson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...
DanJones 4/4/2013 | 3:44:46 PM
re: Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M -ŠAbsolutely.

We have a bit of a skewed perspective here in the US because the major carriers have been unusually aggressive in pushing towards LTE.

But Cisco is thinking globally here.

Carriers in Europe, Asia-Pac, India and LatAm simply don't have access to 4G spectrum yet. Witness how long the auctions took in the UK for instance.
So the purpose of the small cell in this instance is to get more out of already existing network resources and spectrum, often in combination with Wi-Fi for offloading heavy data traffic.

The challenge of course is integrating them with the macro network cheaply enough without causing interference or management issues.
gbeniston 4/4/2013 | 2:24:55 PM
re: Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M Absolutely in the UK. It wil go on lamp posts in London in the first instance.
brookseven 4/4/2013 | 2:17:30 PM
re: Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M Wait...people are going to deploy more 3G?

DanJones 4/3/2013 | 8:49:14 PM
re: Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M AT&T isn't the only game in town here though.-Š

My take is they are looking at European operators that can't get their hands on 4G spectrum and want to get as much out of their 3G resources as possible. Hence they're talking about combo Wi-Fi and 3G small cells first. Try and offload the heaviest video traffic onto Wi-Fi where possible.

Than there's DoCoMo and China Mobile of course.
chuckj 4/3/2013 | 6:40:00 PM
re: Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M $310 million? -ŠA better question would be, will they sell $300million worth of small cells hardware in 5 years. -ŠWould the 40k small cells that ATT is planning to buy in the next two years -Šadd up to a $20 million spend? I doubt it.
DanJones 4/3/2013 | 5:19:09 PM
re: Cisco Buying Ubiquisys for $310M Cisco says combo 3G & Wi-Fi small cells coming first.
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