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Cisco Systems Buys Wireless Telephony, Net Product Firms

Cisco Systems Inc. fortfied its ability to offer wireless voice services and appliances Thursday with its acquisition of privately-held firms InfoGear Technology Corp. and JetCell Inc. for a combined $501 million in stock.

Cisco (CSCO) paid $301 million for InfoGear, with the remaining $200 million being spent on JetCell. The giant currently holds minority stakes of less than 8 and 10 percent in InfoGear and JetCell, respectively.

Cisco bought InfoGear to offer service providers, consumer-based businesses and vertical markets a comprehensive solution to deliver and manage services to multiple types of information appliances. Its 74 employees will be led by InfoGear Chief Executive Officer Ed Cluss and will join Cisco's small and medium line of business led by Senior Vice President Charles Giancarlo.

Using JetCell's wireless telephony solution, Cisco's enterprise customers will be able to add the convenience of mobility to voice-over-IP (Internet Protocol) services.

JetCell's wireless solution supports the standard Global System for Mobile communication wireless technology and IP, which will allow Cisco to offer its enterprise customers mobile voice and data services over IP-based corporate networks.

This will give employees the ability to use a standard cellular phone to access their corporate voice services and roam between their private corporate network and public cellular networks with uninterrupted service. JetCell is currently engaged in a number of technology trials with service providers.

JetCell's 46 employees will be led by its Chief Eexecutive Officer Dave McClure and will join Cisco's enterprise line of business led by Senior Vice President James Richardson.