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As mobile applications grow, Oracle wants to expand into telecommunications markets (Photo: GM)

Oracle has agreed to buy Acme Packet in a move that will boost its expertise in secure data communications.

The US-based IT group said it will pay 1.7 billion dlrs for Acme Packet, a company that specializes in delivering voice, data and unified communication services and applications across IP networks.

As overall connectivity increases and people become more dependent on mobile applications and devices, Oracle needs to provide comprehensive communication solutions that take this trend into account.

Oracle said the acquisition will allow it accelerate migration to all-IP networks by enabling secure and reliable communications from any device, across any network.

"The addition of Acme Packet to Oracle’s leading communications portfolio will enable service providers and enterprises to deliver innovative solutions that will change the way we interact, conduct commerce, deliver healthcare, secure our homes, and much more,” Oracle President Mark Hurd said in a press release.

The acquisition should give Oracle an opportunity to straddle converging telecommunications and IT markets, said Dana Cooperson, principal analyst at market researchers Ovum."IT-focused companies like Oracle see a real oportunity to strengthen their position in both markets," she said in a research note.

Acme Packet's products are used by more than 1,900 service providers and enterprises globally, including 89 of the world’s top 100 communications companies.

The transaction, which is subject to Acme stockholder approval and still needs a green light from regulators, is expected to close in the first half of 2013. Oracle plans to integrate Acme Packet's management team and employees into its Oracle Communications Global Business Unit.