Juniper to buy SMobile for $70M

Wed, 07/28/2010 - 8:25am
Monica Alleven, Wireless Week

A relatively small mobile software company based in Columbus, Ohio, now finds itself part of a much bigger entity. Juniper Networks yesterday announced it plans to acquire SMobile Systems, a privately held company focused on smartphone and tablet security solutions, for about $70 million in cash.

SMobile's product portfolio protects devices running on Android, Apple iOS, Symbian, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile operating systems from viruses, spyware, identity theft and other threats. It also offers parental and enterprise controls.

Sanjay Beri, vice president and general manager of the Access and Acceleration Business Unit at Juniper, says the company went through a long process internally and externally to find the right fit. He says SMobile is the mobile device security leader across platforms and "it's a great strategic fit for us."

The value proposition for the service provider is Juniper can offer an end-to-end solution, from the network to the device, plus tie it all into the VPN for the enterprise. Juniper plans to integrate the SMobile portfolio into its Junos Pulse software platform for smartphones, tablets, netbooks and notebooks. 

One example of a carrier implementing SMobile's solution is British Telecom. The operator a couple of years ago started offering the solution out of the box for customers, says Daniel Hoffman, CTO at SMobile. The company also has packaged its solution with OEMs, at one point preloading on some 33 million Nokia devices.

Beri says Juniper targets acquisitions that fit into its culture, and SMobile fit the bill. Hoffman will remain with the SMobile team in Columbus, Ohio, along with CEO Neil Book. They will report to Beri.

Juniper expects the deal to close within a few days, when it will welcome about 30 SMobile employees into the fold.

More Broadband Direct 7/28/10:

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•  Envivio gathers another $15M in funding
•  Juniper to buy SMobile for $70M
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