Cisco acquires WG2, a cloud-native core group valued at $150M

  • Cisco has acquired Working Group Two in a deal that values the company at $150 million.

  • WG2 pioneered a cloud native mobile core as-a-service platform.

  • Cisco described WG2 as a “natural fit” with its Mobility Services Platform.

Cisco has acquired the 44.6% Telenor share in Working Group Two (WG2) in a deal that values the company at $150 million. WG2 will be incorporated fully into Cisco.

WG2 was created by software engineers at Telenor in 2013. The company was spun out of Telenor with the support of Cisco and the Digital Alpha fund in 2017.

The firm now employs around 90 people, mostly software engineers. WG2 said that last year, it helped our customers send 527 million SMSs, make 354 million voice calls, and transfer 33 petabytes of data using its messaging and global mobile core products.

WG2 offers a modern core network delivered as a hosted service, which can help cost savings for mobile network operators. Partners include Amazon Web Services (AWS), and customers such as Kyocera Mirai Envision, Mobi and Telenor (surprise!)

The cloud-based global platform that WG2 has built can be used by mobile network operators (MNOs), mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), and enterprises looking to build out private networks on a 5G mobile core. Cisco said that WG2 “tech and talent” will enable it to expand its global mobile IoT service.

“Part of the ambition here is really to make it as easy to build a network application as it is to build a smartphone application,” Erlend Prestgard, CEO of WG2, told Silverlinings on a call Thursday.

While the use of mobile is growing exponentially for both consumers and businesses, “Innovation on top of the [mobile] infrastructure, which is like applications being run on top, is only happening on mobile phones, nowhere else in the mobile eco-system, so we thought that there is this need and this gap,” said Masum Mir, SVP and General Manager at Cisco Networking: Provider Mobility.

To that end, he said, WG2 will enable Cisco to further augment its set of application programming interfaces (APIs) for use by developers in the operator and enterprise field.