Westell expands monitoring capabilities with Kentrox acquisition

Westell Technologies on Monday signed a deal to acquire Kentrox for $30 million in an effort to bolster its remote monitoring solutions for its wireline customer base.

Rick Gilbert, Westell's CEO and chairman, said that the acquisition, which is expected to close on April 1, will "propel us to about $80 million in annual revenue and add to earnings in fiscal 2014."

In 2012, Kentrox reported $29 million in revenues.

One segment that the Kentrox acquisition will enhance for Westell will be wireless backhaul and wireless tower management.

Kentrox will bring Westell a suite of remote monitoring capabilities, including its Optima and SecureSite products. Optima's management portal provides preventative maintenance tools and performance reporting, while SecureSite can remotely manage unmanned cell sites or a Remote Terminal (RT) that houses a DSLAM, for example.

Besides performance monitoring, the SecureSite product could help service providers deal with the ongoing problem of copper and equipment theft. Any image collected at each site via remote IP cameras are sent to the SecureSite server that the wireline or wireless operator can remotely view.

These capabilities are complementary to Westell's own demarcation interfaces, including its eSmartAccess which allows a wireless operator to support both TDM-based T1 as well as Ethernet.

Kentrox has been finding similar traction in the wireline industry. The vendor's Optima management system was chosen by Australia's NBN Co Limited (NBN Co) to provide site management solutions for the wholesale broadband network being built throughout the country.

The acquisition of Kentrox is representative of Westell's ongoing drive to grow its outside plant management capabilities. This transformation began in 2011 when Westell sold its Customer Networking Solutions (CNS) division for about $33.5 million to NETGEAR (Nasdaq: NTGR).

For more:
- see the release

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