Genband Doubles Down on Cable1/10/2011 12:01 AM Eastern
Reinforcing its push into the cable
segment, voice-equipment provider Genband
last week announced a definitive
agreement to acquire competitor Cedar
With Cedar Point, Genband would pick
up several key cable customers, including
Comcast, Liberty Global, Charter Communications
and Kabel Deutschland.
Genband also gets its hands on the cableproven
Safari C3 voice-over-Internet protocol
switch platform, to compete with the
likes of Nokia Siemens Networks and Cisco
The announcement confi rms Multichannel News’ report
last fall that Genband was evaluating acquiring Derry, N.H.-
based Cedar Point (see “Genband Eyes Cedar Point,” Nov.
The deal comes a year after Genband reached an agreement
to acquire the carrier voice-over-Internet protocol and
applications business unit of Nortel Networks, the erstwhile
telecom-equipment powerhouse that filed for bankruptcy
in January 2009. Major cable customers for Nortel’s voice
systems included Shaw Communications, Videotron, UPC,
Rogers Communications and Cox Communications.
“This acquisition will not only increase our cable market
share, but it will also enhance our overall offering to
meet the unique and demanding requirements of the highgrowth
cable market,” Genband CEO Charlie Vogt said in
announcing the deal. “Our combined vision of bringing advanced
SIP [Session Initiation Protocol] and multimedia
services to the cable market is one of the key drivers for this
transaction, particularly as cable operators transition to IP.”
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Genband is
offering mostly stock to Cedar Point shareholders. The companies
signed the deal Dec. 24, 2010, and expect it to close
in January 2011 subject to customary approvals and closing
Cedar Point has deployed 7.5 million phone lines worldwide,
bringing Genband to more than 20 million
lines in cable, Genband chief marketing
officer Mehmet Balos said in an interview. That
represents more than 40% share of cable VoIP,
according to Genband’s estimates.
Genband will maintain the existing Safari
C3 voice switch platform, but will combine the
Safari Fusion voice applications into its Genius
application, call control, session border and security
“We talked to [Cedar Point’s] customers, and
they still want the [Safari C3] product to continue
— we have no intention of discontinuing
the product,” Balos said. At the same time, “they
liked what they were hearing about Genband’s
size, the global scale and service capability ...
They wanted the financial security and stability of a larger
Genband will spend about $130 million in research and
development in 2011. The privately held company had more
than $700 million in revenue in 2010, according to Balos.
Founded in 1999, Genband is based in the Dallas suburb
of Frisco, Texas, and has operations in 50 countries.
Cedar Point currently has about 125 employees. A “significant amount” will join Genband, Balos said, declining
to be more specific.
Cedar Point CEO J.C. Murphy and chief financial officer
Don Halsted will assist in the company’s transition to Genband,
but will not remain with the company longer-term.