Cisco has bought IP service control vendor P-Cube of Sunnyvale, California, in a cash deal worth about $200m.
The company says the deal should allow its customers to run advanced IP services such as voice over IP (VoIP), interactive gaming, video on demand, and peer-to-peer networking.
Cisco hopes to exploit P-Cube's expertise in IP service control platforms, which Cisco says can help its customers "identify subscribers, classify applications, improve service performance and charge for multiple IP services without costly infrastructure upgrades".
The company says that its IP service control technology allows networks to differentiate between services such as video-on-demand, Web browsing, email, music streaming, VoIP and P2P traffic while "guaranteeing performance and enabling new business models".
P-Cube's Service Control software gives operators application-level control of existing IP transport networks, which, according to Cisco, will enable service providers to analyse, control and meter application and content-based services.
The deal is expected to close by October. The P-Cube management team will report to Pankaj Patel, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Broadband Edge and Midrange Routing Business Unit.
According to its Web site, P-Cube was founded to help mobile and wire-line IP service providers, "optimise overall network investments and enable compelling content-based services".
P-Cube was founded in 1999 and has 118 employees. P-Cube's original investors included: Accel Partners, Accel Europe, Ascend Technology Ventures, ComVentures, Evergreen, Granite Global Ventures, Panasonic Ventures, TDF Ventures and Venrock Associates.