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Cisco goes mobile with $2.9bn Starent buy

Alex Scroxton
Network equipment maker Cisco today said it would pay $2.9bn to acquire Starent Networks, a supplier of IP-based networking equipment for mobile and converged carriers.

Starent's access-independent technology is used in CDMA2000, UMTS/HSPA and WiMAX mobile networks.

Explainingthe deal, Cisco said the mobile internet was at an "inflection point"as IP-enabled smartphones and other connected mobile devices gainmarket share. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, globalmobile data traffic is expected to more than double every year until2013.

Cisco will pay $35 per share in cash for all of Starent,valuing the acquisition at $2.9bn. Both company boards have approvedthe deal, which is expected to close during the first half of 2010,subject to regulatory approval.

Cisco CEO John Chambers said "Webelieve [Starent's] products and engineering talent will greatlybenefit our service provider customers as they build out their mobileinternet offerings."

Starent CEO Ashraf Dahod said Cisco'sstrength in video and IP plus Starent's mobile products created "acompelling portfolio" to provide rich, high-quality multimediaexperiences to mobile subscribers on 3G and 4G networks.

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