VeriSign on Monday announced that it will buy Illuminet Holdings, a provider of intelligent network and signaling services to telecommunications carriers, for about $1.2 billion in stock.
The deal combines two strong players in Internet and telecommunications infrastructure services, and gives VeriSign a much-desired entree into the telco market.
VeriSign -- which holds the market lead in Web server certificates and operates the Internets dot-com, dot-net and dot-org domain name registries -- plans to sell new services to Illuminets approximately 900 telco customers, which include long-distance carriers, wireless providers and local telephone companies.
Such new services include secure short messaging service, Voice-over-IP bridging and local number portability, as well as WebNum, a numeric site addressing scheme designed for wireless phones, and VeriSigns Global Voice Registry, which lets someone place a call to a business by speaking its name into the phone.
"Just as we created a trusted digital environment with our Internet-based services, this integrated data-voice infrastructure will serve as the foundation for new types of services for the highly anticipated next-generation networks," said Stratton Sclavos, VeriSigns president and CEO.
Illuminet, based in Olympia, Wash., operates an SS7 network that provides intelligent services, such as call routing and roaming services for wireless carriers, and also provides such calling features as caller ID and local number portability. Illuminet has about 500 employees; VeriSign, based in Mountain View, Calif., has 2,300 employees.