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Wednesday, 22 February 2012 16:57

Ericsson buys BelAir Networks for WiFi expertise

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In a move to add Wi-Fi capability to its range of mobile network base station products, Ericsson is buying Canadian Wi-Fi company BelAir Networks.

"Through this transaction, Ericsson will acquire a strong carrier grade Wi-Fi portfolio, technological expertise, IPR, and established customer contracts and relationships," Ericsson said.

"The acquisition of BelAir Networks will be part of Ericsson's heterogeneous network (hetnet) strategy to improve the mobile broadband experience by managing the co-existence of mobile technologies and Wi-Fi...

"The BelAir Networks' indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi systems enable service providers to build scalable, high performance Wi-Fi networks. The company develops mobile networking solutions that are deployed by service providers including AT&T and Comcast."

The demand for Wi-Fi technology in mobile networks is expected to grow as more operators seek to offload traffic from congested and costly mobile spectrum. This is brought on by the growth of mobile broadband as well as the increase in cloud-based services and other high data-consuming functions and features.

Ericsson's move into Wi-Fi follows the announcement by Alcatel-Lucent earlier this month of the addition of Wi-Fi capability to its lightRadio range of micro base stations.

BelAir was founded in 2002. It has approximately 120 employees, who will join Ericsson's global organization. The acquisition is expected to close during the first half of 2012.

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