The giant data networking company Cisco Systems Inc. will pay $2.9 billion to acquire Starent Networks Corp. of Tewksbury, a fast-growing maker of equipment that lets cellphone companies handle massive amounts of e-mail, music, and video traffic.
“Obviously, they’ve been a great success story here in the Boston area,’’ said Ned Hooper, Cisco’s chief strategy officer, adding that Starent is “a global leader’’ in helping to meet the new demand for wireless data.
Cisco will pay $35 per share for the company, which will become its newly formed mobile Internet technology group under Starent chief executive Ashraf M. Dahod. Cisco, which is based in San Jose, Calif., said it had also signed contracts to retain the rest of Starent’s top managers, and had no plans to reduce the company’s worldwide workforce of about 1,000. The group will remain in Tewksbury.
It’s an unlikely medical device: a sleek smartphone more suited to a nightclub than a rural health clinic. But it’s loaded with software that allows health workers in the remote northernmost Philippines province of Batanes to dramatically reduce the time it takes to get X-rays to a radiologist - and to get a diagnosis for a patient being tested for tuberculosis.
The software, created by a nonprofit organization called Moca, is one of nearly two dozen cellphone-based projects that have sprung from NextLab, a course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It’s taught by Jhonatan Rotberg, who was sent to MIT by Telmex, one of Latin America’s largest telecommunications companies, to bring cellular technology to the “90 percent of people’’ who fall outside of the marketing plans of most phone companies.
Talking about his Telmex job, Rotberg made a peak with his hands. “We were dealing with the very top of the pyramid,’’ he said as he sat in his office at MIT. “We spent most of our time trying to sell more phones and products to the middle class and the upper middle class.’’
Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill has saved taxpayers $20 million in interest costs by allowing a state bond issue to remain in a market limbo, but the decision has come at the expense of some investors, who are furious they can’t get their money back.
The bonds, issued in 2000, raised $400 million to finance Big Dig construction. They were called auction-rate securities, and investors snapped them up because they were safe, paid about 3.5 percent interest, and went to market every week, making them easy to buy and sell.
But everything changed in February 2008, when all trading in the bonds froze as a result of the credit crisis sweeping the global financial markets. Since then, interest rates on the bonds have fallen to almost zero. It’s been a good deal for the state as it struggles with its budget crunch. But for bondholders, it’s been a shock: They are getting almost no return on their investment, and because trading has halted, they can’t sell the bonds to get their money back.
Gillette, the Boston shaving giant, yesterday unveiled its $50 million renovation and expansion of the World Shaving Headquarters in South Boston.
The manufacturing and research complex, totaling more than 1.65 million square feet, will soon accommodate between 400 and 500 employees who previously worked at the Prudential Center corporate headquarters. The 44-acre site features perks including a convenience store, coffee bar, and an “Art of Shaving’’ shop that with an onsite barber.
Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino toured the renovated building yesterday, admiring the 9,000-square-foot fitness center and exercise bicycles that connect to the Internet.
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