Feeds

Cisco to buy Airespace

WLAN switch market consolidation begins

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Cisco is to buy WLAN switch maker Airespace, laying down $450m worth of shares for the privately held firm.

The move, forecast here last year, heralds the start of much-anticipated consolidation in the emerging enterprise-level Wi-Fi market.

Provided regulatory bodies and shareholders raise no objections, Cisco will take possession of Airespace on 30 April. If the deal goes ahead, Cisco will broaden the company's existing WLAN switch portfolio and see Airespace technology incorporated into existing Cisco products.

To date, the WLAN switch market has been dominated - in mind share at least - by a host of start-ups founded to bring Wi-Fi to enterprises by providing the security, management and integration (into existing networks) features demanded by big business but missing from a market that has been so led by consumer products.

Airespace was one of them, and has taken second place in the market behind Symbol, an established player that leveraged its vertical market WLAN specialism to move into the switch arena.

Cisco was slow to enter the market, citing doubts over the willingnes of corporates to invest in wireless. But customers are jumping aboard, and the giant moved into the WLAN switch market in May 2004.

The Airespace acquisition became the subject of rumour last week, but Cisco appears to have been nosing around the start-ups for some time. Airespace rival Aruba, which is currently third in the market, claims it too was approached by Cisco, but rejected its overtures.

Buying either Aruba or Airespace would pitch Cisco into the top league, but the deal still leaves it behind Symbol. However, lesser competitors, such as Extreme and the troubled Trapeze, will find it harder to stay in the running. Cisco appears to be planning to retain the Airespace brand, just as it did with consumer-oriented Wi-Fi equipment maker Linksys. Indeed, Linksys may benefit from Airespace's more SME-oriented products and technologies. ®

Related stories

WLAN switch makers fight for survival
Aruba to bring WLAN-level security to LANs
Airespace extends WLAN switch line to SMEs
Aruba touts Wi-Fi grid scheme
Cisco offers WLAN switching
Switch start-ups turn to WLAN security

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.