New Wi-Fi Ties: Ericsson To Buy BelAir Networks

Another Wi-Fi specialist taken off the board.

Ericsson Tuesday said it will acquire BelAir Networks, an Ottawa-based specialist in carrier-grade Wi-Fi. The deal will add to Ericsson's Wi-Fi holdings and expand its North America footprint.

Financial terms of the transaction were not provided. Ericsson, which is the world's largest mobile infrastructure vendor with roughly one-third of the market, said it plans to integrate BelAir's technology into its portfolio of products and services for mobile broadband, focused on managing mobile technologies and Wi-Fi.

BelAir, founded in 2002, makes indoor and outdoor wireless systems for customers such as AT&T and Comcast. It has had a solution provider program in place since shortly after its launch and has been considered an M&A target for years as some of its smaller competitors were acquired.

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Ericsson, which launched Wi-Fi access control products for operator networks last fall, will be able to add BelAir's products to its radio access portfolio.

In a statement, Ericsson said BelAir's roughly 120 employees will join the company and that the acquisition is expected to close in the first half.

"Ericsson will lead the way in the growing converged Wi-Fi and cellular market where improved end-user experience is the driving force," Hans Vestberg, Ericsson's CEO, said in a statement. "By integrating BelAir Networks' market-leading products and competence into Ericsson's existing radio portfolio, we will be able to do this more quickly."

Bernard Herscovich, BelAir's CEO, said the acquisition by Ericsson "presents a strategic and cultural fit."