Cisco goes straight to video

Network equipment giant Cisco has boosted its position in the video networking space with the acquisition of digital video equipment maker Scientific-Atlanta.

The $6.9 billion deal will set Cisco apart in the nascent IP-based, high bandwidth services market.

Scientific-Atlanta is virtually unknown in IT circles and is primarily focused on broadband networking and digital broadcasting. The deal is a clear demonstration of the rapid convergence that is sweeping through the global networking markets – whatever the application.

John Chamber, president and chief executive officer of Cisco, predicted that the digital video market could be worth as much as $10 billion market by 2009. "Video is emerging as the key strategic application in the service provider triple play bundle of consumer entertainment, communication and online services," he said in a statement.

The deal is also significant for Cisco because of its scale: in recent years it has focused on hoovering up swathes of small, innovative networking companies.

The deal for Scientific-Atlanta is comparable with its 1996 $4 billion acquisition of switch maker Stratacom – a deal that swiftly set Cisco apart from other networking vendors, helping to establish its dominant position.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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