Week in research: M&A climbs, deal values don't; quantum cryptography prepares leap forward

M&A activity up, prices down: Buyers prowling the global telecom marketplace in 2012 saw plenty more deals being made, but at much lower valuations, an IDC report says. More than 3,800 deals were made last year, a 14.2 percent rise over 2011 M&A activity. However, the value of disclosed deals fell 10.8 percent to $211 billion. "The opposing trend between deal volume and deal value is not surprising," noted Ryan Patterson, Manager, Global IT Advisor and Private Vendor Watch Service at IDC. "In a slow economy, we typically see an increase in the number of deals, and lower values, driven by 'fire sales' of troubled companies, an increase in asset sales by companies refocusing on their core business, and acquisitions by private equity (PE) firms looking to capitalize on lower valuations." Release

IT, telecom resellers hone relationships: Two in five IT firms said that half to three-quarters of their annual revenue comes from partnerships with telecom agents, a study by CompTIA and Channel Partners says. Likewise, telecom agents said a quarter to one-half of their annual revenue came from such partnerships. The study suggests that telecom-IT relationships are becoming less "let's do lunch" and more accountable. "Firms have figured out that for these pairings to succeed long-term, the rules of engagement and responsibilities must elevate beyond a handshake agreement," said Carolyn April, director, industry analysis, CompTIA. Competition from telecom carriers and rising technologies are playing a role in the increased frequency at which both industries work together. "An IT solution provider may consider cloud-based alternatives to their core offerings so as not to lose a sale," explained Khali Henderson, editor in chief, Channel Partners. Release

Quantum leap in security: Looking beyond business into next, next-gen technologies, physicists at a Munich university are studying new cryptography methods to secure communications networks. The researchers successfully transmitted a secure quantum code over the air (OTA), from an aircraft to a ground station. Quantum cryptography is already in use by some banks and government agencies, but it's limited to optical cables and short-range OTA communication as the signal degrades at distances greater than 200 km. The physicists hope to extend that distance enough to enable quantum cryptography via satellite. Article (via The Cyberwire)