Cisco Buys Norwegian Specialist WG2

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Cisco had previously held a stake in WG2 and is now acquiring the remaining shares owned by the primary investor – Telenor – at an enterprise valuation of $150 million. As its name suggests, WG2 originated as an internal development initiative within Telenor before being spun off with the assistance of Digital Alpha, a fund that appears to represent Cisco’s vested interest in the endeavor. Prior to this transaction, Telenor still retained a 44.6% share in the venture.

The ingenious concept that underpins WG2 revolves around the creation of a cloud-native mobile core, harnessing the flexibility and scalability intrinsic to cloud technology. CEO Erlend Prestgard featured as a guest on the Podcast last year, offering an opportunity to delve into the comprehensive narrative behind the company.

A blog jointly authored by Prestgard expressed, “Cisco will leverage the as-a-service model to unlock advantages for the entire mobile industry, building on the successes already achieved in the realms of IoT and private networks. The as-a-service delivery paradigm facilitates consistent deployments, reduces complexity, offers global scalability, programmability, and continuous innovation, along with security management. Expanding this model to encompass the full spectrum of mobile use cases empowers Cisco to provide streamlined access to our latest innovations, empowering customers to direct their resources toward their core operations and expedite the deployment of novel use cases.”

Masum Mir, General Manager of Cisco Networking: Provider Mobility, articulated in a blog, “WG2 and Cisco synergize uniquely. A common ambition binds us – to furnish a global, programmable mobile core as a service – an aspiration that remarkably aligns with our shared vision. The objective is clear: to facilitate our Communication Service Provider clients in achieving faster progress, while collaborating to extract value from their 5G investments.”

Mir further added, “The consumption model is both straightforward and comprehensive, catering to all stakeholders. The ultimate outcome is a mobility services platform that holds the potential to significantly simplify Mobile network rollouts, elevate edge experiences, unlock fresh and advanced use cases, as well as support uncomplicated application development.”

While the rationale behind the choice of a blog as the medium for this announcement, rather than a full-fledged press release, remains unclear, the potential performance in line with the promised features could bestow Cisco with a tangible competitive edge in the mobile core market. Moreover, Cisco is positioning this acquisition as a boost to its Internet of Things (IoT) offerings, an area the company has been deeply invested in for numerous years. Time will unveil the actual outcomes.

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