Cartesian Acquires Digital TV Consultancy

Cartesian, the US-headquartered consulting and software business, has signed an agreement to purchase Farncombe Technology, specialist consultants in Digital TV. The price was not disclosed. You can read the press release here.

At first glance, the strategic logic for the deal is to extend Cartesian’s comms expertise into the arena of DTV and quadplay. Farncombe is headquartered in the UK, and also has offices in France, so the purchase complements previous efforts to increase revenues from outside of the USA. The press release emphasizes Farncombe’s “world-class” services and multilingual workforce.

Cartesian was already a strange-looking beast before the deal, offering strategy consulting at one level, whilst also selling operational assurance and analytics software to a variety of customers. Farncombe is presented as a fit at both ends of this spectrum, also offering strategy consulting, alongside more prosaic services like security and testing. The latter capabilities will most closely link to Cartesian’s established foothold in the assurance market.

Regular readers will likely associate Cartesian with the Revenue Assurance Group, a London meeting that Cartesian has hosted for over a decade. There is an intriguing possibility that Cartesian will seek to promote the use of assurance techniques within the domain of DTV; Sky is already customer of Cartesian in the UK, so the press release is right to identify opportunities for cross-selling. On the other hand, the purchase also reflects the trend towards simple bundled pricing for quadplay services where prices may be driven by the kind of content consumed rather than the amount of bandwidth used. If so, the acquisition may offset a decline in revenues from traditional assurance services.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is a recognized expert on communications risk and assurance. He was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and others.

Eric was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He was a member of Qatar's National Committee for Internet Safety and the first leader of the TM Forum's Enterprise Risk Management team. Eric currently sits on the committee of the Risk & Assurance Group. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.

Commsrisk is edited by Eric. Look here for more about Eric's history as editor.