Oracle grabs Tekelec for telco assault

Sticky control tech destined for inner networks


Oracle has added another network-focused tech company to its business as Ellison & Co. try to takeover the IT stacks of telecommunications companies.

The acquisition of Tekelec was announced on Monday, and follows Oracle buying unified communications specialists Acme Packet for $2.1bn in early February.

Oracle will add Tekelec's network signaling, policy control, and subscriber data management technologies, into its suite of products for telecommunication companies served up by its Oracle Communications division.

This will let the database company further extend its business into service providers' networks, and gives it a chance to wield a particularly sticky type of product via Tekelec's network and service control layer technology.

By gathering Tekelec and Acme Technologies, Oracle is hoping to capitalize on the spread of mobile devices and the ensuing data demands they place on networks.

"As connected devices and applications become ubiquitous, intelligent network and service control technologies are required to enable service providers to efficiently deploy all-IP networks, and deliver and monetize innovative communication services," general manager of Oracle Communications Bhaskar Gorti, said in a canned quote.

"The combination of Oracle and Tekelec will provide service providers with the most complete solution to manage their businesses across customer engagement, business and network operations, service delivery and end user applications."

Oracle is adding Tekelec to its service and network control layers

The Tekelec assets fill out Oracle's service and network control areas

Tekelec's tech is used by over 300 service providers in over 100 countries, the company wrote. Major telcos like Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Vodafone, KPN, Orange, and Spring all rely on the technology. With Oracle already supplying databases and other mission-critical systems to many of these companies, the acquisition means when they next go to look at their technology Ellison & Co will look back at them from a broader part of their stack than before.

Tekelec's important technologies are gathered together under its "new diameter network" suite. These products let telcos build and scale 3G, IMS and LTE networks, roll-out personalized subscriber-specific services, and help them partner with cloud and machine-to-machine providers.

The core of this suite is the company's 'Diameter routing' tech, which is an edge network technology for protocol mediation (eg 2G/3G to LTE) and connection management.

By pairing Tekelec with Acme Networks, Oracle has substantially added to the service control and network control components of a telco infrastructure, paving the way for a takeover of service provider stacks by Oracle's red tech.

"Our ambition is to be the primary technology provider to the telecommunications industry," Oracle chief Larry Ellison said in a call last week discussing the company's Q3 2012 earnings.

Tekelec's management team and employees are likely to join the company, according to an Oracle document that gives further information on the acquisition. The company will invest in Tekelec post-acquisition to broaden its technological remit to cover customer relationship management, and business and operational support systems as well.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. ®

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