Tellabs (NASDAQ:TLAB) today finalized its acquisition of upstart mobile core gateway WiChorus, making Tellabs the newest entrant into the 3G and 4G core space. Announced just over a month ago, the purchase of the small and privately held WiChorus was a relatively painless process. Meanwhile, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) still has a few more hurdles to overcome in its own acquisition of mobile core vendor Starent (NASDAQ:STAR), which it announced just a few weeks earlier. As a publicly traded and much larger company (Cisco is paying $2.9 billion as opposed to the $165 million Tellabs shelled out for WiChorus), Cisco must has to run a much bigger regulatory gauntlet and doesn’t expect to finalize the deal until the first half of next year.
Writing on Tellabs’s blog today, Tellabs CEO Rob Pullen made it clear that he didn’t want to sell the WiChorus platform as just another set of packet gateways among many. While Pullen addressed the session termination and routing functions that from the heart of any 3G or 4G mobile core, he focused on the add-on technologies that WiChorus developed such as Internet offload at the network edge, packet optimization and caching features, all of which could be applied to Tellabs backhaul business as well as the new mobile core portfolio. Pullen also said that while WiChorus’ inital success has been with WiMax vendors such as Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR), Tellabs now has a huge opportunity in the long-term evolution (LTE) core due to similarities between the WiMax access service network (ASN) and LTE’s evolved packet core (EPC).
“For LTE networks, we plan to deliver full packet optimization, localization of user traffic and more efficient downloads of content,” Pullen wrote. “For service providers, that means a simpler network with lower costs. For users, that adds up to a better experience.”