Huawei has acquired Neul, a Cambridge, U.K.,-based radio module maker focused on the internet of things. The move marks an interesting new direction for Huawei, which is already one of the largest manufacturers of wireless networking technologies the world. Neul specializes in the industrial side of the internet things: the billions of sensors, instruments and meters that need only send tiny amounts of information intermittently. Instead of connected cars and watches and tablets, we’re talking about connected bridges, burglar alarms and dog tracking collars (this shift to networking in the background will be one of the topics at Gigaom’s Structure:Connect conference in San Francisco next month). These are not the kinds of links that require or really benefit from cellular machine-to-machine connections, which is what the mobile industry has traditionally focused on in the past.

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