JDSU Buys Mobile OSS Vendor for $85M

Optical components and test and measurement vendor JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDSU) has splashed out US$85 million in cash to buy mobile analytics specialist Arieso Ltd. in a bid to become a key supplier of Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) products and services to the global mobile operator market.

So how will the acquisition of Arieso help JDSU achieve that goal?

Newbury, U.K.-based Arieso has developed a SPIT platform called GEO, which collects data from OSS systems that is stored and run through an analytics engine to provide location-aware information about network performance (for example, identifying data hotspots and coverage holes) to carrier operations teams.

Its products have been deployed for network optimization and planning purposes by 40 operators in 24 countries, including AT&T Inc., MTN Group Ltd., Telefónica SA and Vodafone Group plc.

JDSU believes the addition of Arieso's technology will strengthen its hand in the mobile network performance monitoring and optimization market, which is set to grow and become more critical to operators as they introduce small cells into their 3G and 4G network edge topologies. JDSU's internal crystal ball-gazers estimate that the market for "RAN optimization and self-optimized networks (SON)" tools is currently worth about $700 million and will grow to be worth more than $1 billion by 2015. (See Small Cells Throw Up Big Challenges for Operators.)

In particular, JDSU is excited about the combination of PacketPortal, its cloud-based software that feeds network data to monitoring and management tools, with GEO, as the latter gathers data from devices attached to networks. That integration has already been achieved, according to JDSU, with the combined product now being marketed as AriesoGEO. (See JDSU Unveils PacketPortal for Customer Care.)

The other product JDSU is pushing from day one is an automated network planning tool called AriesoACP, which JDSU is bundling with a number of its existing mobile backhaul monitoring products.

Apart from the product set, JDSU is also taking on board all of Arieso's staff (about 100 people).

The deal won't be having much impact on JDSU's financials just yet: Arieso, which claims to be profitable at an operating level, booked orders valued at $27 million in 2012.

Arieso's investors include Qualcomm Ventures Europe, Oxford Capital Partners, Add Partners and Top Technology. The company is not disclosing how much money it has raised since it was formed in 2002 by a group of ex-Vodafone executives, but it doesn't appear to be much: Its initial funding was in 2004, when it banked just $2.6 million, and its second announced round was in 2008, when it raised $10 million. (See Arieso vs Goliath.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

Ray Le Maistre 3/8/2013 | 5:23:19 PM
re: JDSU Buys Mobile OSS Vendor for $85M I'm not - apologies if I gave that impression. That's my immediate take -- will I have a different view in a week or a month? I doubt it. In a year? Maybe, but then that would be hindsight, but again I doubt it.-á

I just took a look at the share price - it is up >1% so investors aren't seeing this as negative (not that this means they are right or I am right...)

All in all, this does look like a sensible move for JDSU. It just depends on whether it builds on what Arieso has done up until now or destroys it.

Finding a takeover target and executing a deal is not easy, but actually making an acquisition work in all the ways envisaged is really tough and often down to the human element.
chuckj 3/8/2013 | 5:14:58 PM
re: JDSU Buys Mobile OSS Vendor for $85M When a sentence starts with "at first glance," it can indicate that the writer is skeptical or uncertain. -á Are you?
Ray Le Maistre 3/8/2013 | 12:23:00 PM
re: JDSU Buys Mobile OSS Vendor for $85M AT first glance this looks like a very smart acquisition -- Arieso has a great customer base and a good reputation. This is a very good time to be making a move into the small cell/4G OSS/business intelligence market and I wonder if Spirent, Ixia et al (Oracle?) might be looking at this deal and wondering why it wasn't them striking what would have been a very affordable deal for a lot of service provider IT companies.
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