Sierra Wireless to sell AirCard unit to Netgear for $138 million

The company is getting out of personal wireless modules to expand its M2M business

Sierra Wireless will unload its AirCard mobile add-on business to Netgear for about US$138 million in cash and become a pure-play M2M vendor.

A big part of Sierra's business traditionally has been its AirCard family of add-on cellular modules, which users plugged into laptops via PC Card slots and, later, USB ports. The cards added 3G and later 3G/4G capability over a variety of mobile operators' networks. The company eventually added personal hotspots that could link with nearby devices via Wi-Fi instead of a hardware port. Sierra still sells some of all three types. The devices are sold under its own name and carriers' brands.

Now Sierra is backing out of that business so it can focus on machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, which links non-consumer devices such as electric meters and industrial equipment to wireless networks. Its offerings in that fast-growing field include embedded hardware modules as well as gateways, routers and cloud-based software.

The company plans to use the net proceeds from the sale, approximately $100 million, for more M2M acquisitions to expand the business and speed up its revenue and earnings growth.

Netgear, a maker of home and small-business networking gear, will acquire all the assets and operations of the AirCard business, including its intellectual property and business relationships and about 160 employees in Carlsbad, California, and Richmond, British Columbia. Netgear is based in San Jose, California. Customers can expect continued AirCard innovation under Netgear, Sierra said in a press release.

The deal is subject to typical closing conditions and is expected to close in March.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobileMergers and acquisitionsbusiness issuesNetworkingnetgearSierra Wireless

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?