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Amdocs buys Openet for $180m cash after eight-year patent dispute

Niall Norton Openet.jpg

Telecoms software company Amdocs has bought Irish 5G charging, policy and cloud company Openet for US$180 million in cash.

The move comes only two years after Dublin-based Openet settled a long-standing dispute with Amdocs, which ended with Amdocs agreeing to license a number of patents from Openet.

Openet CEO Niall Norton (pictured) said: “Given the strong momentum of our business this is an optimal time to be joining Amdocs. The calibre, resources and reach of Amdocs will bring significant and widespread opportunities across each of our disciplines.”

The two companies said the deal would bring Openet’s open and network-centric technologies to Amdocs’s more than 350 service provider customers worldwide, covering 5G technologies around cloud, edge compute and the internet of things (IoT).

Shuky Sheffer, president and CEO of Amdocs, said: “The Openet solutions complement our portfolio and this acquisition is part of our mission to accelerate the industry’s move to the cloud.”

He moved to his present role in October 2018, three months after Amdocs settled its patent dispute, which began in 2010.

Sheffer did not mention the dispute in his comments about the Openet deal. “We are delighted the innovative Openet team is joining Amdocs. They bring world-class cloud-native capabilities, network pedigree, and deep 5G charging, policy and data management expertise,” he said.

Norton, who joined Openet in 2004, was similarly tight-lipped about ancient disputes. “We are excited to join Amdocs, with whom we have been alongside at customers for many years, and help bring fast value to service providers’ 5G plans,” he said. “It is truly a momentous day for Openet and for all of our stakeholders.” In a separate LinkedIn post he said the deal “represents a phenomenal opportunity to scale our business very quickly.”

Hogan, who co-founded Openet in 1999, added: “In recent years, we have built new 5G products which are recognised worldwide for their innovation and modern open, cloud-native architecture. We all look forward to the combined technology strengths of Openet and Amdocs creating new opportunities for service providers at this exciting time of 5G adoption.”

Jan Frykhammar, the former Ericsson acting CEO who has chaired Openet’s board since 2018, said Openet has found “a fantastic parent in Amdocs”. He said: “For me personally it has been both an incredible learning experience but also a love affair.”

Openet has main offices in Brazil, Malaysia and the US as well as Ireland. Only yesterday it was named as one of the companies joining HPE’s new 5G lab in Colorado, along with partners such as Intel, Metaswitch, Nokia and Red Hat. The company is privately held, earning around $70 million a year in revenue. Last year it partnered with Samsung to deliver 5G core network solutions. According to the Irish Times, one of its backers has been SoftBank.  

Amdocs, founded in Israel and headquartered in the US, had sales of $4.1 billion last year. Its shares are listed on the Nasdaq exchange.