Ericsson is joining forces with Cisco in a wide-reaching partnership covering routing, data center, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control and global services capabilities. The agreement will allow the companies cross-sell and license each other’s products. It also features collaboration on network transformation through reference architectures and joint development, as well as collaboration in key emerging markets. In addition, the pair will begin working on a joint initiative focused on Software-defined networking/network function virtualization and network management and control. Both companies expect to benefit from incremental revenue in 2016 and expect to ramp to $1bln or more for each by 2018. The move might be surprising to many as companies increasingly turn to M&A to advance in an intensely competitive environment. Both Ericsson and Cisco recently proposed M&A deals. Ericsson announced the Envivio purchase in Sept, while Cisco sold its set-top business to French firm Technicolor in July.