Cisco to acquire Starent for $2.9 billion

Cisco is looking to bolster its mobile Internet offerings with the buy

Aiming to expand its mobile Internet offerings, Cisco Systems will acquire Starent Networks for $2.9 billion, the companies announced Tuesday.

Starent offers IP-based infrastructure technology designed to help carriers scale up their mobile networks. Starent's technology is used in CDMA2000, UMTS/HSPA, and WiMax networks.

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The deal calls for Cisco to pay $35 per share in cash for each share of Starent. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close during the first half of 2010. It is subject to regulatory review.

(More to come.)