October 16, 2009
-- Cisco jumped into the Fibre Channel market with the MDS family. Brocade jumped into the Ethernet market with the acquisition of Foundry Networks. Both companies are jockeying for position in the nascent converged networking (CEE and FCoE) market. And, it appears, the companies are escalating the fight in yet another area – wireless networking and mobile computing.Brocade
and Cisco each added to their respective mobile arsenals this week. Brocade took the partnership route, while Cisco opened up its wallet.
Cisco announced a deal
to acquire Starent Networks, a supplier of IP-based mobile infrastructure solutions for mobile and converged carriers. Cisco paid roughly $2.9 billion for Starent and the acquisition is expected to close during the first half of calendar year 2010.
Starent's stock-in-trade is providing multimedia intelligence, core network functions and services to manage access from any 2.5G, 3G, and 4G radio network to a mobile operator's packet core network.
A quote from Cisco's official announcement:
"Cisco and Starent Networks share a common vision and bring complementary technologies designed to accelerate the transition to the Mobile Internet, where the network is the platform for Service Providers to launch, deliver and monetize the next generation of mobile multimedia applications and services," said Pankaj Patel, senior vice president/general manager for Cisco's Service Provider Business.
Cisco says service providers have been actively investing in the market as global mobile data traffic is expected to more than double every year through 2013, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index.
Brocade has noticed the market potential as well. The company inked an OEM
deal with the Enterprise Mobility Solutions business unit of Motorola this week to collaborate on wireless LAN (WLAN), voice-over-WLAN, mobile unified communications/fixed mobile convergence (FMC), cloud computing and wireless broadband technologies.
The companies established an OEM reseller agreement, through which, Brocade will rebrand and resell a number of Motorola's enterprise wireless LAN solutions and resell Motorola wireless security products as an extension of its own IP/Ethernet product portfolio.
According to the companies, "this collaboration also lays the foundation for a new category of wireless and mobility services delivered by service providers using cloud enabled infrastructure solutions from Motorola and Brocade."
The companies plan to use cloud computing architectures and enable voice, video and data applications to work over 3G, 4G or WiFi networks.