Cisco Blogs

Cisco to Acquire Mobile Internet Leader Starent Networks

October 13, 2009 - 35 Comments

The Internet has already had a profound impact on the world over the last several decades, with more than 1.6 billion people connected, and we are still in the early stages of the Internet revolution with billions of users and devices still waiting to be connected.  The internet’s open and innovative environment has helped create compelling applications such as Google Earth, YouTube, Skype, Facebook, and Flickr, to name but a few. The Web 2.0 phenomenon has been truly impressive as we’ve seen the power of collaboration, social networking and user-generated content.

The next step in the evolution of the Internet is to make it available anywhere and at any time, which requires the convergence of the mobile world and the Internet. The ‘Mobile Internet’ will offer the services and applications from the Internet on-the-move, and on any device. This market is growing rapidly, with IP-enabled Smartphones like the iPhone and Blackberry, low-cost netbooks, games handsets, digital cameras and other consumer electronics, mobile connected devices are becoming a part of everyday life for millions of people around the world.

The Mobile Internet is also enabling a range of new visual and virtual services that are changing the way we work, live and play. Consumers and businesses are using mobile devices in innovative ways for entertainment, social networking, collaboration and business productivity – often accessing services and information that are stored and run centrally. As an example of the growth of new services on the Mobile Internet, almost 64% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2013 according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index

The growth in the Mobile Internet presents enormous opportunities and a few challenges for service providers.  Ever-increasing demand for new services is reflected in the growth of mobile data traffic. We expect global mobile data traffic to more than double every year through 2013, with a 66-fold increase in mobile data traffic between 2008-2013 (Cisco Visual Networking Index). Service providers need a completely new approach to deliver these new services and build efficient mobile networks for this enormous growth in traffic.

The Mobile Internet uses a rich tapestry of radio access technologies from 3G to 4G, including high-speed packet access (HSPA), evolution-data optimized (EV-DO), WiMAX, Wi-Fi and soon long term evolution (LTE). For service providers to efficiently offer new services and to intelligently deliver the underlying traffic requires a single integrated architecture.  Cisco believes that the underlying IP-based network is the platform that binds these different services and technologies together. Combining Cisco’s IP and video strength with Starent Networks’ leading mobile infrastructure technologies creates a portfolio of solutions that address the needs of our service provider customers to offer rich, high-quality multimedia experiences to mobile subscribers on 3G and 4G radio networks, and make a smooth transition to become experience providers. 

As a fast-growing provider of multimedia solutions designed to enable mobile operators to deliver Mobile Internet to their subscribers, Starent Networks is a key player in the Mobile Internet transformation. The company has more than 100 customer deployments in 45 countries worldwide, with many of the world’s most prominent and innovative mobile operators. We believe that, together, Cisco and Starent Networks bring complementary solutions designed to help accelerate the transition to the rapidly growing Mobile Internet. We believe the Mobile Internet is a huge transition that is happening very quickly, and we believe this is the right time for Cisco and Starent Networks to combine their strengths to enable operators to launch, deliver and profit from the next wave of mobile multimedia applications and services.

Cisco and Starent Networks share a common vision to lead innovation in the rapidly growing market for IP-based mobile infrastructure. This acquisition will extend Cisco’s world-class offerings to help our mobile-operator customers innovate to deliver the rapid growth in data traffic, deploy more intelligent and effective networks, and efficiently deliver the next-generation of mobile services.  For more on how Starent Networks will expand Cisco’s Mobile Internet offerings, see a video from Pankaj Patel, SVP / GM of Cisco’s Service Provider Business.

In closing, I would simply like to remind you that this blog contains forward-looking statements which are subject to risks and uncertainties, including the risk factors discussed in Cisco’s recently filed Form 10-K and in the press release announcing this transaction.  Such risks could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements.  For further information, please consult such Form 10-K, and Cisco’s recently-filed 8-K covering such press release, each available free of charge at the SEC’s website at or by going to Cisco’s Investor Relations Website at

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. So I guess Cisco is giving up on the SAMMI device and just buying the competition's solution?

  2. interesting article, thanks :)

  3. Where will it all end ! Unbelievable...

  4. Well great news,I look foward.

  5. Awesome, great news.

  6. that's the news Going to give a big push to mobile technology. Bravo I got it I got it

  7. Cisco rocks It seems soon they capture indian market also

  8. wow..... now we can expect better internet service !!!

  9. That's definitely good news. I hope to see the day where we all can enjoy reasonably priced mobile Internet access from any part of the world at high speeds without restrictions. Web 2.0 has opened up a lot of creativity and has enabled millions of people to get involved through new technologies. This news is definitely something in the right direction.

  10. Smart move, with Ciscos expertise and Starents knowledge there are clealy synagestic benefits to be had.

  11. Bring on the Speed!

  12. I honestly don’t know what humans ever did before the internet. I can’t live 5 minutes without my laptop. I can only imagine what it will be like in 5 years from now.

  13. I am sure CISCO strategic acquisition team has enough cash in hand to pick the best and bread technologies to add into the basket in this recession time.Cisco is driving vision of internet for future.Best of Luck Cisco Team.KMK

  14. things just move so fast

  15. I am amazed that 1.6 Billion people are connected. Does that include people who steal wireless?

  16. I believe that in future we will have a wider choice of mobile accessibility than today and with a lot of services provided.Great article!

  17. This is great news. Cisco is the best.

  18. Sometimes I just can't keep up with all the tech, how do you guys do it? you're amazing!

  19. this is going to be huge im telling you people starent and ciso combing like this i can't believe it but to respond to one of the other posts before the internet people talk to each other face to face more often.

  20. This is great news. I am looking forward to seeing some CISCO aquisitions that forward CISCO in the SMART GRID arena as well. I think that is going to be a large income booster for many companies and the competition is already heating up!

  21. Cisco is the best. Thanks for sharing.I’m looking forward to this.

  22. This acquisition seems to provide large benefits to us. I am eagerly waiting for this to happen.

  23. This acquisition seems to be more advantageous. I am eagerly waiting for this to happen.

  24. Exciting news.

  25. I suppose

  26. Oh the increased speeds are going to be nice. I hope this all gets rolled out smoothly.

  27. This is really an exciting news but don't you think that, it will be a bad for Juniper. Even in this recession, slow and weak economy, CISCO is doing very good job. EXCELLENT CISCO BU TEAM. CISCO will get large-number business globally from telco sector & SP after this acquisition. Thanks and regards,AK

  28. This is exciting news as the combination of Starent's expertise with mobile internet technology coupled with Cisco's reputation as one of the most authoritative company's for networking makes this great news for consumers.

  29. I agree that the future of the internet is moving away from PCs, Macs and laptops to a more connected way of using the internet.I believe every smart business should look at ways to reach their customers in a more mobile"" way."

  30. This is great news, keep up the good work.

  31. This seems like a great move for Cisco. Starent Networks has some great technology which a partnership like this will be able to leverage.

  32. Wow, I'm looking forward to this.:)

  33. Cisco is the best. Thanks for sharing.

  34. I honestly don't know what humans ever did before the internet. I can't live 5 minutes without my laptop. I can only imagine what it will be like in 5 years from now.

  35. Will this growing trend end up creating a two class society with people who are able to access the internet with suitable smartphones included in the always on"" class and all others who maybe cannot afford the appropriate hardware stuck without the means to participate in society fully? I suppose if hardware continues the trend of getting ever cheaper it will become more of a commodity, but I still wonder..."