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Cisco bolsters mobile core technology with Working Group Two buy

News Analysis
Aug 10, 20234 mins
Amazon Web ServicesCisco SystemsMobile

Cisco has made nine acquisitions this year to reinforce everything from BGP support, security and application performance to AI development

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Cisco continued filling its shopping bag with various technology firms – this time saying it intended to acquire cloud native mobile core developer Working Group Two (WG2) for an undisclosed amount.

The WG2 buy is Cisco’s fifth since June and its nineth this year.  WG2 is known for its mobile technology that helps public and private service providers and enterprise customers build secure and scalable mobile backbones.

The technology will become part of Cisco’s Mobility Services platform which offers a full-stack cloud-native converged core network and distributed edge support.

Introduced in February, the Mobility Service is designed to simplify how service providers build, manage, and deliver new mobile services globally at scale and supports a variety of technologies to bring 5G, edge, and cloud technologies, Cisco says.

“Cisco Mobility Services offers simplified solutions offered as-a-Service to deliver advanced mobile IoT use-cases at scale, such as connected cars and connected distributed utilities, demanding secure, high bandwidth, low latency services from the carrier edge,” wrote Masum Mir senior vice president and general manager for Cisco Networking’s Provider Mobility business in a blog about the acquisition.

“Built for simplicity, innovation, and efficiency, WG2’s platform uses the web-scale playbook and operating models, which makes it a natural fit with our Mobility Services Platform,” Mir wrote.  “And with WG2 and the Cisco Mobility Services Platform, we’ll be able to boost our service edge deployment and API first strategy for application development partners, enterprise customers and service provider partners.”

“WG2’s expertise in the mobile space brings capabilities crucial to the enterprise market including complete authentication, provisioning, voice, messaging, and data services, all of which will be rolled into our existing Control Center offers,” Mir stated. “The end result is a mobility services platform that can dramatically simplify Mobile network deployments, provide enhanced edge experiences, enable new and advanced use cases, as well as support simple application development.”

Cisco is quite familiar with WG2’s technology having helped fund and back the firm, which was part of mobile telecom vendor Telenor until it spun out in 2017. Cisco and WG2 have been offering an AWS-hosted cloud-managed mobile network since 2019.

The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of Cisco’s FY24.

Cisco’s most recent acquisition target was startup Border Gateway Protocol monitoring firm Code BGP.  Privately held Code BGP will ultimately become part of Cisco’s ThousandEyes network intelligence product portfolio and bring a cloud-based platform that among other features,  maintains an inventory of IP address prefixes, peerings and outbound policies of an organization via configured sources, like BGP feeds. BGP tells Internet traffic what route to take, and the BGP best-path selection algorithm determines the optimal routes to use for traffic forwarding.

In July Cisco announced its intention to acquire security startup Oort for an undisclosed amount. Oort offers an identity threat detection and response platform for enterprise security. 

Cisco also recently announced plans to acquire privately held broadband-network monitoring company SamKnows for an undisclosed amount.

SamKnows uses a global network of software agents dispersed among home systems, mobile devices and service provider networks, for example, to get a real-time measurement of internet performance and customer experience. Through a central dashboard, the company can analyze the results, spot faults, and identify the root cause of problems to help with remediation.

Another fresh deal is Cisco’s planned acquisition of Accedian Networks for an undisclosed price. Accedian’s performance analysis and monitoring platform – aimed at mobile backhaul, data center services, service providers and cloud connectivity customers – provides network visibility, diagnoses problems and recommends remediation.

Cisco’s other acquisitions this year include Armorblox for large language models, Smartlook for mobile application monitoring, Lightspin for cloud security, and Valtix for cloud network security.