Cisco Systems has taken a shine to Massachusetts. Last week, the tech giant announced plans to establish the global headquarters for its new Mobile Internet Technology Group there, a move that will create some 75 jobs across New England, says Marc Musgrove, a global public relations manager for the company. "This will be the first time we have a business unit centered in Massachusetts," he adds. Musgrove couldn't specify how many of those jobs will be tech focused, but he said the move was precipitated when Cisco acquired Tewksbury-based Starent Networks last December. Starnet will be folded into the Mobile Internet Technology Group, which Musgrove says will operate as research and development center. With global mobile data traffic expected to grow 39-fold over the next five years, he says operators are looking to Cisco to help manage the deluge of mobile data while delivering new services. The unit will be based at Cisco's campus in Boxborough, says The Boston Globe. The company already has about 2,000 employees in the Bay State.

The Mobile Internet Technology Group will be led by Ash Dahod.

Meanwhile, Cisco is moving create "Smart Connected Communities" in Massachusetts by building out city-wide networks in which applications in healthcare, education and access to government will be more convenient. The first of these is likely to be in Holyoke.

-- Sonia R.Lelii