Cisco Acquires Two Networkers for $445 Million

Cisco Systems, Inc. Thursday acquired
network service providers Fibex Systems and Sentient Networks, Inc. in an effort to enable its
Internet service provider clients to ease the transition from circuit-based
technology to the asynchronous transfer mode.

Cisco will swap $445 million of its common shares in exchange for all outstanding shares
and options of Fibex Systems
and Sentient Networks. The acquisitions are slated to close by the fourth quarter. Both companies will be folded into Cisco’s service provider line of business.

Petaluma, Calif.-based Fibex Systems produces integrated access digital
loop carrier products, which integrate
traditional voice services with data services using ATM as the underlying
architecture. Sentient
Networks of Milpitas, Calif., is responsible for the development of high
density ATM circuit emulation service gateways,
which transport circuit-based private line services across packet-based
ATM networks.

Cisco said the two companies technologies, will allow service providers
to combine circuit-based equipment with
Internet-based data, voice and video gear, enabling them to
switch over to cell and
packet-based networks. The upgrade will allow service providers to still
offer traditional voice capabilities over existing infrastructure, while
using the more current services.

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