Cisco (CSCO) is adding network intelligence to its mobile platform with the $475 million acquisition of Israel’s Intucell. Intucell makes self-optimizing network (SON) software that helps operators manage traffic and bandwidth in real time. The startup scored a big win last February, when AT&T said it would deploy Intucell’s technology on its network.
AT&T says it has deployed Intucell’s SON software in 20 markets so far, and has tested the impact of the software in 13 of those markets. “All 13 markets have resulted in improvements of as much as 15% or more in call retainability and a 15% reduction in tower overloading,” according to AT&T’s website. When a cell tower goes down or is overloaded, the SON software routes callers to another tower.
Cisco wants to use Intucell’s SON technology for more than just managing traffic; the company hopes to ultimately use network intelligence to help carriers create new revenue streams. “Through the addition of Intucell’s industry-leading SON technology, Cisco’s service provider mobility portfolio provides operators with unparalleled network intelligence and the unique ability to not only accommodate exploding network traffic, but to profit from it,” said Kelly Ahuja, general manager of Cisco’s service provider mobility group.
The Intucell purchase is the latest acquisition for the Cisco’s service provider mobility group. Last month Cisco bought BroadHop, a Colorado-based provider of policy control and service management solutions. In September, Cisco purchased Ireland’s ThinkSmart, creator of software that helps service providers use location analytics to analyze end user behavior.
For Intucell’s investors, the $475 million deal will represent a very rich return. The company’s largest investor was Bessemer Venture Partners, which bought almost half of Intucell for $6 million two years ago.
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