LONDON – Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. has agreed to acquire IMEC spin-off company M4S NV, from Option NV, a supplier of wireless broadband equipment, subsystems and software.
M4S was spun off from IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) in 2006 to commercialize IMEC's Scaldio scalable radio transceiver for use in software-defined radio. M4S (Leuven, Belgium) subsequently tried to raise funds but eventually became a subsidiary of USB dongle and data card supplier Option NV (Leuven, Belgium).
Huawei (Bantian, China) is acquiring all of M4S as part of a cooperation agreement with Option to develop mobile broadband technology for Europe, the company said. The purchase price was 8 million euro (about $10.5 million), according to Will Strauss, principal analyst with Forward Concepts (Tempe, Ariz.).
"The signing of this agreement concludes the process of finding an industrial partner for M4S we initiated earlier this year. M4S will benefit from Huawei's vast R&D capabilities and be in the optimal environment to spearhead the industry with the most innovative 4G chipset solutions," said Jan Callewaert, CEO of Option, in a statement issued by Huawei. "Option for its part remains very committed to bring its own new and innovative wireless broadband solutions to the market, including newer versions of USB wireless modems, embedded modules and software and services," he added.
In the same statement Guo Ping, executive vice president and chairman of the board of Huawei Device, said: "The acquisition of M4S will enable Huawei to provide even more innovative mobile broadband devices, accelerate the commercialization of 4G services and support Europe's Digital Agenda ambition. M4S is currently working on a state-of-the-art 4G radio frequency chipset and we believe M4S' strength in the chipset field will further strengthen our network of skilled engineers, our R&D capabilities and our ability to deliver increased value to our customers."
Hopefully they're more above board than their auspicious start in routers.
"Amongst other claims, San Jose, California-based Cisco said portions of its IOS source code found its way into Huawei's operating system for its Quidway routers and switches. Cisco claimed the Huawei OS included text strings, files names and bugs that were identical with Cisco's IOS source code. The suit alleges that Huawei is infringing at least five Cisco patents."
Huawei has been growing quickly on a global basis based on sound management, good products, and wise strategic decisions. Many already feel they are destined to be the global leader in the communications field very soon. Their patent portfolio continues to expand and as shown by their quick IP "counter-attack" responses to Apple's infringement allegations, they are lot afraid to take on the big guys in the various product areas.
We might see more acqusitions by Huawei. They are very serious about entering into Europe and US markets and beat the leader ericsson. With the changing dynamics of the telecom industry companies working on the SDR will be in huge demand considering the multi mode radio products that is necessary for the future mobile infrastructure.
Huawei surely has to ambition to become the leader in telecom industry. Owning the core technology in chips is a must-go direction. I believe some days later, people will see large growth of Huawei's IC organization.
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