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ShoreTel To Acquire Agito Networks

Continuing the M&A wave that has washed over the telecom industry this year, IP telephony provider ShoreTel said it will acquire mobile-VoIP software vendor Agito Networks for $11.4 million. The deal will add Agitos fixed-mobile convergence capability to ShoreTels unified communications portfolio.

Aiming to give mobile device users the freedom to work anywhere, even beyond the wireless network,” the company said in a statement, the Agito acquisition will enable ShoreTel IP-PBX customers to shift seamlessly between cellular and WiFi networks using smartphones, laptops or deskphones. Agitos mobility routing and handset-client software connects smartphones and corporate communications systems over the least expensive wireless network available at that moment. Agito provides native support for most of the leading smartphone and tablet platforms including iPhone, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile devices. (Noticeably absent from this list is Android, the mobile OS from Google. Theres no word as yet on when Agito software will support Android, the worlds fastest-growing mobile platform.) Among the features added by Agitos software are call control, voice-over-wireless-LAN, and presence and location-based services.

Seeking scale to compete in a rapidly consolidating market, smaller telecom players, faced with a perfect storm of soaring bandwidth demand, technological innovation and new competition, have engaged in a frenzy of consolidation representing dozens of billions of dollars in transactions in 2010. The latest deal came on Oct. 1 as struggling ISP Earthlink, which lost a bundle in the short-lived metro wireless bubble of the 2000s, agreed to acquire regional communications services provider ITC Deltacom for $516 million. Earlier Speakeasy agreed to merge with Covad Communications Co. and MegaPath Inc., two competitive service providers that in March announced plans to merge. The combined privately held company is expected to have annual revenues greater than $500 million.

Those deals were dwarfed by the pending $22.4 billion CenturyLink Inc.-Qwest Communications International Inc. merger, which received approvals last month from nine states and the District of Columbia, as well as antitrust clearance from Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission.


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