March 22, 2004 11:39 AM PST

VeriSign to acquire messaging business

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VeriSign is expanding its communications services with the takeover of Unimobile, a provider of mobile messaging products to telecommunications carriers and enterprises.

Under the terms of the deal, VeriSign expects to pay $5.25 million in cash to Electronics For Imaging, which had been Unimobile's parent company, and to service existing Unimobile contracts.

The maker of security and billing software plans to add Unimobile's technology to its own products so that it can give customers a new set of SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multimedia Message Service) and secure content delivery capabilities. With the combination, VeriSign says it aims to mediate between telecommunications providers on distribution of cross-carrier messages and content.

The goal is to have messages easily accessible across a range of mobile devices, including SMS phones, WAP phones and personal digital assistants, VeriSign said. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company also said the services would enable encrypted messaging and spam filtering.

VeriSign has been expanding its wireless products. Last month, it announced a torrent of new and upgraded products and services designed to help telecommunications carriers tie together and secure their networks.

"The acquisition of Unimobile's assets is in lockstep with VeriSign's strategy to help carriers integrate next-generation communications--in this case, SMS/MMS capabilities," Vernon Irvin, executive vice president of VeriSign, said in a statement.


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