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HCL acquires Cisco’s network tech to fuel 5G growth

HCL acquires Cisco’s network tech to fuel 5G growth

All-cash transaction includes addition of SON-focused Cisco employees

Credit: Reuters

HCL Technologies has unveiled plans to acquire self-optimising network (SON) technology from Cisco to enhance in-market 5G capabilities.

Terms of the all-cash transaction - valued at US$49 million - will see the India-based global system integrator (GSI) assume control of products and services built on Cisco’s SON offering, in addition to employees currently working on the technology.

“HCL’s decision to make this acquisition comes in line with our Mode 3 strategy,” said Sukamal Banerjee, corporate vice president of HCL Technologies, in reference to the provider’s focus on building out “future proof” products and platforms.

“As we expand our footprint in this space and support the mobility needs of our customers; the SON products and services will now be included in our telecommunications offerings. This will gain further importance with 5G networks."

From a technology perspective, Cisco’s SON technology uses machine learning and applications to automate the Radio Access Network (RAN).

According to Banerjee, the offering helps customers "boost performance and harmonise the multiple technologies that comprise a RAN", in addition to maximising existing infrastructure capabilities and reducing capital and operational expenditures. Banerjee said the acquisition will also help the GSI meet increased customer requirements within the telecommunications industry, which includes tier-one communications service providers globally.

“We are proud to lead the next phase of the Cisco SON business journey, especially regarding 5G, and look forward to supporting new and existing customers with continued innovation,” he added. “We also want to extend a warm welcome to the Cisco SON team members joining HCL.”

The transaction coincides with Cisco's plans to acquire network intelligence software provider ThousandEyes for an undisclosed amount.

Founded in 2010, the 400-employee ThousandEyes firm offers a cloud-based software package that analyses performance of local and wide-area networks and the internet. Utilising its world-wide insights into service networks the company also tracks ISP, cloud and collaboration application performance via a family of intelligent cloud, enterprise and endpoint agents.


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