cisco_starentCisco agreed to buy Starent Networks for $2.9 Billion today. The acquisition which was probably expected, enables Cisco to make a strong push into Mobile and 4G. Starent products sit on the edge of the network moving data from an operator’s radio network to their core packet network. This is one area that Cisco has struggled to make a mark in and the acquisition gives Cisco an edge over competitors like Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Sonus Networks and others.

“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, Service Provider Business.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the opportunity in Smart Grid technology and 4G is enormous and with this new acquisition Cisco is preparing itself to capture a good chunk of this emerging market. Moreover, the traditional mobile and handheld market is converging where every device  will get on the mobile network and also become IP enabled. So obviously Cisco wants to be the enabler for the pipes that carry this ever-increasing data.

Cisco has been doing lot of financial restructuring and raised $4 Billion in additional cash recently. Good use of capital to position the company well as we come out of the recession.

A great exit and congrats to Ashraf Dahod, CEO of Starent Networks and a TiE Boston Charter Member on the acquisition!