Huawei Buys Up U.K. IoT Pioneer Neul

Huawei snapped up the Cambridge-based company for a reported $25 million.

Huawei buying Neul

By Michael Moore

Huawei has expanded its Internet of things (IoT) portfolio with the acquisition of British firm Neul.

The Chinese manufacturer has reportedly paid out $25M to buy up the Cambridge-based company, which had been working closely with Huawei over the last nine months on narrow band cellular IoT capabilities.

“In January we explored the idea of Huawei investing in Neul and over time it seemed to make sense for an outright purchase,” Neul CEO Stan Boland told The Register.

Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will merge units to further work on machine-to-machine communication, with Huawei prepared to invest significantly in Neul going forward.

“Huawei has recently acquired Neul, an advanced Internet of things (IoT) research and development facility in UK,” a spokesperson said. “The acquisition of Neul gives Huawei improved access to the growing and exciting market in the IoT, which enables advanced connectivity of machines, devices, systems, and services under a variety of applications.

“Huawei is delighted to have acquired Neul and its ground-breaking innovations in the IoT. Huawei has no doubt that the IoT market offers huge scope to expand and to deliver important new services and solutions to the customers.”

Close Companions

Neul has been working hard to increase its stature in the IoT space, particularly through its Weightless communication standard, which uses “white space” frequencies—the unused portions of TV broadcast spectrum—to connect devices from a base station.

Earlier this year, the company launched a new network using Weightless, called NeulNET, for BT to try out. The network includes both hardware and software required to design prototype services for the Internet of things (IoT).

The deal would mark the latest part of Huawei’s plans to expand its U.K. operations, following the announcement that it would be opening an R&D center in Bristol later this year.

“The UK is forward-thinking, progressive, and fosters innovation. This creativity is a major asset to our R&D efforts and gives us the perfect platform to continue pioneering the new, ground-breaking technologies that are building the future,” Guo Ping, rotating and acting CEO of Huawei, said at the time.