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Keymile divests industrial unit, will focus on broadband

German company Keymile plans to focus on broadband communications systems, following the sale of its mission-critical communication business unit to Swiss industrial automation specialist ABB for an undisclosed sum.

The company wants to ride the demand wave for broadband, which continues to roll on at breakneck speed. Keymile’s products allow network operators to offer their end customers a variety of voice and data services across all types of fibre-to-the-x access network architectures.

Keymile’s portfolio currently includes equipment for both copper and fibre-based access networks. For upgraded copper networks, it offers VDSL, vectoring and G.fast hardware. It also supplies systems for optical connections, to enable GPON and point-to-point network architectures with high levels of port density.

These technologies come together in the company’s multi-service access node (MSAN), MileGate IP-MSAN, which combines carrier-grade broadband access, telephony and data interfaces in a single compact next-generation access platform. This creates the foundation for operators to migrate their previous connection-oriented voice and data technology to packet-based networks. The company has recently developed OrcaX, an open hardware platform that provides MSAN functionality.

Following the sale, Keymile will concentrate its investments exclusively on research and development in the broadband sector. The company plans to expand its portfolio and develop new technologies, with a focus on fibre-optic systems based on passive optical networks (PONs).

“Our customers trust us because we provide innovative, high-quality products and services, are close to hand and support them in their plans for network expansion,” said Rolf Unterberger, Keymile's CEO. “Keymile's broadband business generates profitable growth, which allows us to be prepared for the future, and we look forward to working closely with our broadband customers”.

On the ABB side of the deal, the mission-critical communication business serves customers such as operators of energy grids, railways, oil and gas pipelines, as well as public authorities, who need extremely reliable communications technologies to manage dynamic and complex digital electrical grids. The 120 employees of this business will join the Grid Automation business unit of ABB’s Power Grids division.

The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2017.

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