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"WLAN MARKET STRATEGIES" PUBLISHED.

Triggered by the emergence of disruptive new technologies and ever-tighter performance requirements from enterprises seeking to mobilize critical business applications, suppliers of wireless LAN equipment are facing huge challenges to the way they develop and market their products, finds the latest report from Unstrung Insider (www.unstrung.com/insider), a paid research service of Light Reading Inc. (www.lightreading.com).

"WLAN Market Strategies: The Enterprise Challenge" examines and evaluates the products and roadmaps of leading wireless LAN equipment providers and analyzes strategies for integration with key business applications.

The report focuses on the key market-changing technologies that will affect vendor WLAN strategies, including wireless voice over IP (VOIP), fixed/mobile convergence, and new multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) radio systems. It compares the strategies WLAN vendors are putting in place to gain share in this lucrative and emerging sector, and identifies the key factors that will determine their success or failure in the marketplace.

WLAN vendors are now moving toward one of two high-level strategies to compete in the sector, notes Gabriel Brown, Chief Analyst for Unstrung Insider and author of the report. "Larger vendors, such as Cisco Systems, Siemens, and Symbol Technologies, are focusing on tight integration with the vertical applications that drive the business case for enterprise WLAN deployment," he said.

"Specialist vendors, meanwhile, are focused on WLAN as a horizontal technology applicable to any market or type of company. This group, including Aruba, Colubris, Extricom, Meru, Trapeze, and Xirrus, is focused on developing WLAN architectures that can be packaged and sold by a wide range of systems integrators, application vendors, and enterprise hardware suppliers."

This divergence in strategies is creating a dynamic and extremely competitive WLAN infrastructure sector by opening up the market to more original equipment manufacturer (OEM) relationships, Brown added. "A wide range of networking and VOIP companies now source core WLAN technology externally," he explains. "3Com, ADC, Alcatel, Enterasys, Extreme, Foundry, HP, IBM, NEC, and Nortel all make use of OEM-style partnerships to varying degrees."

Key findings of "WLAN Market Strategies: The Enterprise Challenge" include the following:

- WLAN as a foundation for enterprise mobility is forcing vendors to integrate more tightly with business applications and enhance support for wireless VOIP

- Enterprise WLAN is set to shift from the prevailing centralized architectures to a distributed data plane and centralized control plane model over time

- Aruba, Cisco, and Symbol do not see a requirement for distributed switching, while challengers - Colubris, Trapeze, and others - are moving more aggressively

- 802.11n-compliant MIMO access points will be offered by several enterprise vendors from 2H07; this presents the next major disruption in the market

- Pricing has been relatively stable over the past 18 months at the high end, at between $600 and $800 per AP, but is under pressure at the low end, at less than $600 per AP

Companies analyzed in this report include: 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS); Aruba Wireless Networks Inc.; Bluesocket Inc.; Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Colubris Networks Inc.; Extricom Inc.; Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY); Meru Networks Inc.; NEC Philips Unified Solutions, a joint venture of NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY; Tokyo: 6701) and Philips Electronics NV (NYSE: PHG; Amsterdam: PHIA); Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT; Toronto: NT); Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE); Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL); Trapeze Networks Inc.; and Xirrus Inc.

"WLAN Market Strategies: The Enterprise Challenge" is available as part of an annual subscription (12 issues) to Unstrung Insider, priced at $1,595. Individual reports are available for $900.

To subscribe, or for more information about this report, please visit: www.unstrung.com/insider. For more information about other Light Reading Insider services, please visit: www.lightreading.com/research.

To request a free executive summary of the report, or for details on multi-user licensing options, please contact:

For more information, call 619/229-9940.
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Publication:LAN Product News
Date:Feb 1, 2007
Words:629
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