Cisco to buy Ubiquisys for $310M in femtocell tech boost

The networking giant is to snap up its fourth acquisition of the year with U.K.-based femtocell maker Ubiquisys, a maker of 3G and LTE small-cell technologies.


Cisco this morning announced it has made a bid to acquire U.K.-based femtocell maker Ubiquisys for $310 million (£205m).

The mostly all-cash deal will also include employee retention incentives. It's one of the few deals in recent months where the networking giant has actually disclosed the amount it's buying a company for — the fourth such acquisition this year.

Ubiquisys employees will be integrated as part of Cisco's service provider mobility group. The deal is expected to close by the end of Cisco's fourth quarter 2013, ending in August this year.

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From a press release this morning, Cisco is "doubling down" on its small cell business in a bid to accelerate strong momentum and growth in the mobility market.

In recent months, Cisco bought Israel-based mobile software firm  Intucell for $475 million , and  cyber threat protection company Cognitive Security  and  cloud services firm SolveDirect  both for undisclosed amounts.

Ubiquisys is a small Swindon, U.K.-based firm that provides 3G and LTE-based technologies allowing for seamless cellular connectivity across mobile networks.

Femtocells are essentially small cellular base stations that boost and enhance cell signal where such coverage is typically low. By plugging into existing networks — such as home broadband or a business pipe — it converts such landline bandwidth into local cellular coverage.

From a statement published by Cisco acquirer-in-chief Hilton Romanski, the Ubiquisys acquisition will go hand in hand with BroadHop, which was bought in December 2012 , and Intucell as part of Cisco's wider mobile strategy.

The melding of recent acquisitions will go towards "reinforcing in-house research and development, such as service provider Wi-Fi and licensed radio," Romanski said.

With the two companies working together, they can offer a connected experience to end-users and enterprises utilizing Cisco technology that adds additional coverage layers across the mobile network.