Nokia buys 3D tech from Israeli surveillance firm, and snaps up SAC Wireless

Nokia has topped off a two-month buying spree with an agreement with Israeli surveillance specialist to develop new 3D monitoring technology for mobile networks.

Nokia Networks has followed up its acquisition of a US wireless network deployment firm SAC Wireless this week with the purchase of 3D geolocation tech from security and surveillance company Nice.

In a move intended to bolster its ability to manage mobile networks, Nokia Networks said on Thursday it had acquired advanced geolocation capabilities from Nice Systems.

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Nice, which has its headquarters in Israel and was founded by former members of the country's army, provides analytics-based security services to airports, utilities, banks, and homeland security agencies based on data captured from security cameras, sensors, devices and communication systems.

Nokia thinks Nice's 3D geolocation technology will allow its services business to provide a more accurate picture of its customers' mobile network performance, as well as traffic trends and ultimately better information for network planning — particularly around emerging small cell technology for mobile networks. The telecoms industry is increasingly looking to small cell technology to cope with the onslaught of data predicted to hit mobile networks over the coming years.

"Advanced network planning and optimisation services are at the forefront of Nokia Networks' strategic services to mobile operators. The evolution of small cells and LTE necessitates more accurate 3-D geolocation capabilities. Nokia Networks intends to enhance this unique solution in order to offer superior services to our customers, regardless of which network gear they use," Dennis Lorenzin, head of network planning and optimization at Nokia Networks global services unit, said.

Nokia hasn't confirmed exactly what technology it has acquired from Nice. However, its agreement with the company includes development of a new Nokia competence centre in Israel where it will build its future portfolio around 3D modelling and bolster automation of its services.

Nokia yesterday also acquired US-based SAC Wireless to boost its presence in wireless network implementation in the US.

SAC Wireless has around 450 employees and expertise that Nokia would otherwise subcontract out, such as dealing with site acquisition, and quality control during network building.

Besides boosting its presence in the US, Nokia also believes SAC will help it out with challenging network deployments, including "indoor/outdoor small cells, distributed antenna systems, 4G LTE upgrades, and solving backhaul connectivity and bandwidth issues".

The two new deals follow Nokia's June a cquisition of Australian wireless tech firm Mesaplexx , whose radio filtering technology it believes will enable it to reduce the size of its base stations and small cells by up to 30 percent.

Other acquisitions Nokia has completed recently, following the €5.4bn sale of its devices business to Microsoft in April, include Here's purchase of Seattle-based Medio Systems in June. Medio gives Nokia's mapping business predictive analytics tools to create contextual maps and location services for more personalised mapping services.

Before that, Here acquired natural language processing company Desti to improve its maps  and personalisation.

Nokia's mobile broadband sales accounted for just over half of the company's €2.3bn revenues from networks in the most recent quarter, which today, without devices, make up 90 percent of Nokia's overall revenues.

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