Richardson, TX SEPTEMBER 4, 2014. Taqua®, LLC, a leading supplier of mobile and fixed IP convergence systems, applications, and services announced today the acquisition of Milpitas-based Kineto Wireless, the market leader in mobile client solutions that enable smartphones to deliver high quality voice and messaging services over Wi-Fi networks, commonly referred to as VoWiFi.
For more than 10 years, Kineto Wireless has worked with all major smartphone manufacturers to deliver tens of millions of VoWiFi-enabled smartphones to major mobile operators across every region of the world. Over the last several years, Taqua and Kineto have been working together to provide an end-to-end, standards-based VoWiFi solution that utilizes Taqua’s Virtual Mobile Core and Kineto’s mobile client solutions. The first customer for that solution was Sprint, who launched their highly successful “Wi-Fi Calling” service in February of this year.
“If WiFi was not ubiquitous, smartphone usage would not be that great,” said StéphaneTéral, Principal Analyst at Infonetics Research. “At this point a number of mobile operators have already begun to leverage these WiFi connections by utilizing VoWiFi to address indoor voice and messaging coverage issues. Now that Apple is on board with iOS 8’s support of WiFi calling, we expect to see an increasing number of mobile operators launch WiFi calling plans and services. With this acquisition, Taqua has put itself in a strong position to capture a significant chunk of this growing opportunity.”
With the acquisition of Kineto, Taqua can now deliver the industry’s only end-to-end VoWiFi solution that is proven, fully integrated and scalable. This VoWiFi solution will allow mobile operators and broadband providers to quickly deploy a Wi-Fi Calling service today, with or without an IP Multimedia System (IMS). Within any network deployment scenario, subscribers can make and receive calls and messages using any Wi-Fi network with exactly the same experience they have on a cellular network. The solution is completely transparent to the subscriber.
For mobile users, VoWiFi provides a high quality voice and messaging experience in the locations they spend most of their time, at home and in the office, as well as a low cost roaming alternative when traveling internationally. For mobile network operators (MNOs), VoWiFi provides a simple solution that solves indoor coverage challenges in locations that are historically difficult to reach with the macro cellular network. For Broadband providers and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), VoWiFi provides the added benefit of maximizing the use of Wi-Fi and thus improving their profitability, a strategy in the industry commonly referred to as Wi-Fi First.
“With the VoWiFi market set to take off and many operators looking for an end-to-end solution, we decided to take our partnership with Kineto to the next level,” said Eric Pratt, Taqua’s president and CEO. “By combining the companies, we can now offer mobile service providers a truly disruptive solution that enables the rapid, cost effective deployment of Wi-Fi Calling services. Beyond technology and key VoWiFi patents, merging Kineto’s operations into Taqua gives us tremendous expertise and significantly expands our sales and service reach internationally.”
Q Advisors LLC, a Denver and San Francisco-based investment banking boutique, represented Taqua in connection with the acquisition and the related financing.
The Taqua Virtual Mobile Core (VMC) is a converged IP mobile core that enables rapid deployment of next generation mobile voice and messaging services. Deployed within Tier 1 operator networks today, the VMC provides the 3GPP/3GPP2 standard functions necessary for providing VoWiFi, VoLTE and small cell services. In addition, the VMC supports the ability to be deployed as a standard MSC/VLR within a mobile operator’s existing circuit-switched core network. This unique deployment option enables complete feature transparency for voice, messaging and supplementary services across cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Communication over the Internet between the VMC and VoWiFi-enabled devices (such as those enabled using the Taqua Mobile Client) is entirely standards compliant and follows the mobile industry SIP-based standards for VoWiFi and VoLTE.
Taqua’s Mobile Client, which can be downloaded by end users or embedded by smartphone manufacturers for an ‘out of the box’ experience, connects with Taqua’s Virtual Mobile Core across Wi-Fi and the Internet to enable transparent use of mobile telephony and SMS/MMS services. The Mobile Client enables subscribers to continue using the phone’s native dialer, contacts, call settings, messaging application, message notifications, and voice mail in the same manner as they do today, while automatically routing voice and messaging traffic over Wi-Fi or the cellular network based on current connection status. Depending upon wireless network quality, the mobile client selects the Wi-Fi or cellular network to conduct incoming and outgoing calls and messages. This allows carriers to utilize any existing Wi-Fi access point, reduce cellular spectrum load, and expand and enhance network coverage.
Taqua enables service providers to deliver next generation IP-based communications while pragmatically transitioning their legacy networks to LTE and IMS architectures. Since 1998, Taqua’s mobile and fixed IP convergence solutions have been used by hundreds of wireline, cable and wireless carriers. Taqua is headquartered in Dallas, TX, with research and development facilities in Boston, MA, Milpitas, CA, Toronto, Canada, and Dallas, TX, and European sales offices in Germany and the U.K. More information on Taqua can be obtained by calling +1.972.692.1800 or by browsing the website at www.taqua.com.