**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest M&A in Q4 2012 in the service-provider and BSS/OSS spaces.**
Cisco is making another significant acquisition.
The networking-equipment giant says it will buy Israel-based Intucell, a company that provides self-optimizing network (SON) software that helps mobile operators plan, configure, manage, optimize and heal cellular networks automatically as network demands change in real time. Cisco, which is spending $475 million for Intucell, says the buy enhances its commitment to global service providers by adding a critical network intelligence layer to manage and optimize spectrum, coverage and capacity, and ultimately the quality of the mobile experience.
As mobile service providers continue to face increased end-user demand, the need to optimize network bandwidth, usage and services is increasing. Intucell says its SON software platform addresses these challenges by examining the network, identifying issues in real time, and intelligently adapting the network to meet demand.
With the evolution of LTE 4G networks, mobile operators are increasingly looking for a more cost-effective and efficient way to keep up with demand for bandwidth and reduce complexity. Intucell's SON software platform supports multi-application, multi-vendor and multi-technology capabilities and enables service providers to manage operational costs and make better use of infrastructure investments, the companies said.
"The mobile network of the future must be able to scale intelligently to address growing and often unpredictable traffic patterns, while also enabling carriers to generate incremental revenue streams," said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Service Provider Mobility Group. "Through the addition of Intucell's industry-leading SON technology, Cisco's service provider mobility portfolio provides operators with unparalleled network intelligence and the unique ability to not only accommodate exploding network traffic, but to profit from it."
The deal, subject to regulatory approval and other standard closing conditions, is expected to wrap sometime in Cisco's 2013 fiscal year. Intucell employees will be integrated into Cisco's Service Provider Mobility Group.
Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.