In mid-July Tyco Electronics announced it has agreed to acquire ADC. Despite some expected pushback from ADC shareholders who believe the deal was too much of a bargain, it looks like it could shape up that by the end of this calendar year ADC will become a part of Tyco.
The unit of Tyco Electronics that is most prominent in our industry is the AMP Netconnect brand. Those who have been in the industry a while may remember that Tyco (not yet Tyco Electronics at that time, but that’s another story) acted as a white knight when it acquired the former AMP while the company faced a hostile takeover by AlliedSignal (which is no longer AlliedSignal, but that’s also another story). Growth by acquisition is a strategy that Tyco employs with some frequency; the ADC deal is just the latest instance.
When the acquisition agreement was announced, both companies made specific mention of ADC’s distributed antenna systems (DAS) as an asset that was a factor in Tyco’s decision to pursue the company. Now, it would be a pretty gross inaccuracy for me or anyone to state that ADC’s DAS technology is the reason for the acuqisition, but I for one found it telling that the brief statement issued to the media when the acquisition was announced, mentioned DAS really at the exclusion of other product suites.
DAS is a technology we’ve begun to give increasing attention here in the magazine and at cablinginstall.com. In fact, on page 29 of this month’s issue you can find an article that discusses the coexistence of DAS and 802.11-based wireless local area networks within buildings. The article takes a peek at some long-term plans of wireless carriers as well as some of the technology available to users today via devices like the iPhone; it explains what it will take for an in-building wireless infrastructure to handle all that’s going on with mobile communications today and tomorrow.
I’m also looking at the Tyco-ADC acquisition from my own perspective of structured cabling systems. In that regard, what I find most intriguing is that the two companies have essentially polar opposite viewpoints on cabling infrastructure for 10GBase-T. AMP Netconnect has consistently espoused the use of screened or shielded twisted-pair cabling for 10G transmission. ADC, on the other hand, was the first company to produce a pre-standard Cat 6A unshielded cable for 10G. How these two organizations align their 10GBase-T infrastructure positions will be interesting to watch.
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