Citrix Moving Into Mobile Network Space With Bytemobile Buy

The deal will give Citrix access to mobile network operators, who are under increasing pressure from traffic growth fueled by more mobile devices and greater use of video.

Citrix Systems, known for its virtualization and cloud computing offerings, is getting into the booming mobile infrastructure space with the acquisition of Bytemobile.

Citrix officials announced June 7 that they were buying Bytemobile, whose software is designed to enable wireless network operators to optimize traffic to mobile devices, an increasingly important technology in a time of faster networks and skyrocketing numbers of mobile devices in use.

Neither company released terms of the deal, which was approved by the boards of directors of each and is expected to close during the third quarter.

The deal will enable Citrix to quickly expand its reach beyond enterprise and cloud providers and into the mobile network operator space, giving the company access to 130 mobile carriers in 60 countries.

It also will complement the capabilities Citrix has built up over the years in cloud computing, according to Klaus Oestermann, group vice president and general manager of cloud networking at Citrix.

€œThe cloud and mobile revolutions are rapidly converging, and mobile operators are at the heart of this convergence,€ Oestermann said in a statement. €œWith the integration of Bytemobile technology, products and intellectual capital, Citrix will be uniquely positioned to be a leader in the global mobile data and video infrastructure market in the LTE [Long-Term Evolution] era.€

Wireless carriers and their networks are under increasing pressure due to the convergence of multiple trends, including the growing numbers of people worldwide accessing the Internet and mobile devices being used, the increasing speeds of the networks and the jump in video traffic. According to Cisco Systems, the amount of Internet traffic will quadruple between 2011 and 2016, and by 2016, there will be almost 18.9 billion network connections, or about 2.5 connections per each person on Earth. In 2011, there were 10.3 billion connections.

Also by 2016, there will be 3.4 billion Internet users, and 1.2 million video minutes€”or more than two years worth of time€”will travel on the Internet every second, according to Cisco€™s Visual Networking Index Forecast.

Officials with Citrix and Bytemobile said that by combining the companies€™ technologies, they will be able to offer mobile network operators solutions that not only help them manage the massive traffic growth on their networks, but also give their users a high-quality experience.

Bytemobile offers its Smart Capacity solutions on its T-Series and Unison platforms. The tools on the Unison platform give mobile network operators the ability to resolve network congestion issues and deliver tiered services, as well as dynamically manage video and Web traffic based on network conditions. The Adaptive Traffic Management on the T-Series includes traffic management, content acceleration and traffic controllers, integrating everything from video and Web optimization to analytics and policy control into a single architecture.

According to Bytemobile, the Smart Capacity solutions enable mobile network operators to increase network capacity by 30 to 50 percent.

The sale will build on a partnership that the two companies announced at the Mobile World Congress show in February, and one that already has created the Bytemobile T1100 Traffic Director by combining the Smart Capacity technology with Citrix€™s NetScaler cloud networking portfolio.

€œThe integration of Bytemobile will enable us to extend our value proposition to the edge of the network, bringing content closer to the end user,€ Citrix€™s Oestermann said. €œThe benefits to network operators and their subscribers include faster, more efficient, more reliable and more manageable networks; higher performance, resulting in better service and a better user experience; and scalability to process growing volumes of data traffic at a much lower cost.€

After the sale closes, Bytemobile, which has about 300 employees, will work as an independent product group within Citrix€™s cloud networking group.

Citrix has bought a couple of companies this year to expand its offerings. The vendor in April acquired Podio for its cloud-based collaboration software, and in May announced a deal for Virtual Computer and its client-side virtualization management technology.