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October 24, 2016updated 26 Oct 2016 4:50pm

As AT&T closes in on Time Warner, what are telcos buying?

Security, media, the IoT and others: read CBR's list of 5 types of company telcos are acquiring.


AT&T officially confirmed that it will buy media group Time Warner for the hefty sum of $85.4bn (£70bn). The benefits of telcos owning media assets are clear, but this is not the only area that communications companies are looking into. CBR looks at some recent acquisitions and some of the areas that telcos are buying in.


1. Cyber security

Notable examples of cyber security acquisitions by telcos include Orange’s 2016 buy of Lexsi, a threat intelligence specialist, and 2014 buy of consultancy Atheos.

AT&T bought Verisign in 2009, while Asian provider Singtel bought US security firm Trustwave for $810 million in 2015.

Network provider Cisco recently agreed to pay $293 million in cash plus various adjustments for CloudLock, a cloud access broker provider.

bt-ycyber-securityCyber security is in many ways a natural fit for the telecoms industry, so the fact that they are acquiring here is no surprise.

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Telcos are in a good position to offer security services. The integration of communications and IT is one trend shaping this.

As they control the “pipes” through which electronic communications flow, the companies have oversight of this and can monitor it.

Some telcos have taken the acquisition route above, while others have focused on building internal capabilities: BT said at the beginning of 2016 that it would hire 900 new security staff in the year ahead.

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