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Cisco to Buy Starent for $2.9 Billion

Starent maufactures wireless networking equipment.

In the latest of a string of acquisitions by the U.S. networking giant, Cisco announced on Sept. 13 it has agreed to buy wireless equipment maker Starent Networks for $2.9 billion.

Starent makes networking equipment that allows mobile operators to transmit large amounts of data to smartphones and other connected devices.

According to Cisco, global mobile data traffic is expected to more than double every year through 2013.

"We believe their products and engineering talent will greatly benefit our service provider customers as they build out their mobile Internet offerings," said Cisco CEO John Chambers.

Starent president and chief executive Ashraf Dahod said the combined companies will offer "rich, quality multimedia experiences to mobile subscribers on 3G and 4G networks."

Starent was founded in 2000 and has about 1,000 employees worldwide. It reported revenue of $254 million last year, up 74% from the previous year. Its products are used by more than 100 mobile operators in 45 countries.

The acquisition of Starent is the latest major purchase in what has been a busy year for Cisco. Earlier this month, Cisco bid $3 billion for Norwegian video-conference company Tandberg.

In March, Cisco bought Pure Digital Technologies, maker of the hot-selling Flip Video camcorder, and it purchased Tidal Software Inc. the following month.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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