Citrix Buys Bytemobile Ahead of Mobile Traffic Explosion
Citrix on Monday announced plans to acquire Bytemobile, a privately held data and video optimization solutions provider for mobile network operators. The acquisition automatically gives Citrix a foothold in the core infrastructure of more than 130 mobile operators in 60 countries around the world. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Citrix is betting the acquisition will help it make strides in a cloud era where
Mobile operators are experiencing explosive growth in network traffic by offering a high-quality mobile subscriber experience and helping operators manage mobile network traffic growth efficiently. The companies had previously formed a strategic partnership.
"The cloud and mobile revolutions are rapidly converging, and mobile operators are at the heart of this convergence," said Klaus Oestermann, group vice president and general manager of cloud networking at Citrix.
Whether or not the Bytemobile acquisition will put Citrix in a "unique position" to lead the global mobile data and video infrastructure market charge into the LTE era, as Oestermann claimed, remains to be seen. But the acquisition does give Citrix more options.
Bytemobile's Value Proposition
Specifically, the Bytemobile acquisition expands Citrix's market reach into the rapidly growing mobile telecommunications space. Bytemobile has strong technology, award-winning products, a solid base, and 12 years of customer relationships and deployment experience in mobile telecommunications. Altogether, Bytemobile customers today serve more than 2 billion subscribers and process more than 20 petabytes of data traffic through customer networks daily.
"The integration of Bytemobile will enable us to extend our value proposition to the edge of the network, bringing content closer to the end user," Oestermann said.
He offered a laundry list of promised benefits to network operators and their subscribers, including faster, more efficient, more reliable, and more manageable networks; a better user experience; and scalability to process data traffic at lower cost.
Citrix plans to build on Bytemobile as the center of its go-to-market strategy for mobile network operator. Citrix said it would retain and grow its investment in the Bytemobile brand, technology, products, employees and customer relationships.
Bytemobile will be an independent product group within the Citrix cloud networking group, leveraging synergies with technologies such as Citrix NetScaler.
The Gigabyte Club
Since announcing their earlier strategic partnership at Mobile World Congress in February, Citrix and Bytemobile have collaborated to deliver the Bytemobile T1100 Traffic Director, which helps operators scale next-generation mobile networks and apps with the application delivery intelligence and performance of the NEBS-compliant Citrix NetScaler platform.
Citrix's acquisition is timely, considering Cisco's Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Traffic Forecast for 2011 to 2016. Cisco predicts worldwide mobile traffic will increase 18-fold over the next five years, reaching 10.8 exabytes per month by 2016. Mobile Internet-connected devices are driving much of the demand.
"By 2016, 60 percent of mobile users -- 3 billion people worldwide -- will belong to the 'Gigabyte Club,' each generating more than one gigabyte of mobile data traffic per month," said Suraj Shetty, vice president of product and solutions marketing at Cisco.
"By contrast, in 2011, only one-half percent of mobile users qualified," Shetty said. "This impressive growth in mobile traffic will be driven by more powerful devices, notably smartphones and tablets, using faster networks, such as 4G and Wi-Fi, to access more applications, particularly data-intensive video."