Citrix Goes After Carriers With Acquisition Of Mobile Data & Video Optimization Firm Bytemobile

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Citrix announced this morning that it’s acquiring mobile traffic optimization company  Bytemobile – a move which Citrix says will allow it to enter the mobile and video market with access to the infrastructure of 130 mobile operators in 60 countries worldwide. Combined, the two companies will offer the mobile operators solutions to help them better manage the ever-increasing amount of network traffic, of both data and video, while also giving them better visibility into metrics related to performance, visibility and efficiency.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it has been approved the Board of Directors and is expected to close in Q3 2012.

Following the deal’s completion, Bytemobile will form a new Service Provider Platforms team within Citrix, as a part of the Citrix Cloud Networking product group. It will allow Citrix to move beyond its current enterprise and cloud customers, to also begin to offer solutions within the telecommunications space.

Bytemobile and Citrix were already partners on the Bytemobile T1100 Traffic Director, having announced a formal relationship at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The T1100 helps mobile carriers scale their networks using the application delivery intelligence of the Citrix NetScaler platform, which provides the load-balancing technology. Bytemobile has other products as well, specifically two “Smart Capacity” platforms – the Unison Platform and the T-Series Adaptive Traffic Management System. Its technology portfolio includes things that help with web and video optimization, content caching, policy control, traffic management, mobile analytics and deep packet inspection. Its solutions work on 3G and 4G LTE networks.

Based in Santa Clara, Bytemobile has 300 employees, but through its network of 130 mobile operators, its optimizations reach 2 billions mobile subscribers worldwide. Currently, Bytemobile says it sees over 20 petabytes of data traffic through its customer networks every day.

Bytemobile routinely puts out data-filled reports on the impact of mobile’s growth on carrier networks, which reveal the need for optimization solutions. For example, a report from February found that video now accounts for half of all mobile traffic – something which can be attributed to the growth of smartphones, tablets, increasing speeds provided by operators themselves, as well as the popularity of services like YouTube, Hulu and Netflix. Optimization and performance is critical to the carriers’ bottom line, because, if not managed properly, network congestion leads to poor experience for end users (mobile subscribers) who then jump to other networks instead. One solution, of course, is to add infrastructure and new spectrum to help provide the capacity for all the mobile data and video being pushed through the carriers’ networks. But Bytemobile allows the operators to defer those costs, by smartly managing network performance and traffic instead.