Light Reading

Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading

Wireless switch startup Trapeze Networks Inc. had a "small, exclusive gathering to celebrate the creation of Trapeze Networks" in downtown San Jose, Calif., yesterday evening.

The company wasn't planning to announce its product line yet and would only say that "Trapeze Networks will bring the reality of boundless varekai into the boundaries of the LAN." [Ed. note: Varekai means "wherever" in the Romany language of the Sinti and Roma (formerly known as "Gypsies"). It means “what-evah” in ours. Varekai this has to do with wireless telecommunications is anybody's guess.]

However, as Light Reading's sister site, Unstrung, reported last week, several sources indicate that Trapeze will come out swinging with an enterprise-oriented wireless 802.11 LAN "switch" at the Networld+Interop show this spring (see Trapeze's Wireless Bait & Switch).

Trapeze isn't alone in working on a wireless LAN switch. A host of companies are working on this type of device -- including Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL) and Aruba Networks Inc. (see Aruba's Switch Pitch). For the record, 802.11 switches don't actually switch traffic at all. Instead, they do for a wireless LAN what The Great Oz did for the Scarecrow -- give it a "brain" that makes it easier to manage and more secure. For more on this hot (spot) technology see Aruba's Switch Pitch.

Significantly, Unstrung's same sources also tell it that Trapeze wasn't always focused on the enterprise. Originally, they say, Trapeze intended to target service providers with a much bigger switch aimed at the public access market. Specifically, they contend that Trapeze originally was touting "a big 802.11 box" aimed at carriers looking to combine public access wireless LAN "hotspots" with their cellular networks. The box was going to implement a subscriber management system (SMS, Redback Networks Inc.’s specialty) that would enable carriers to add and maintain subscriber information and offer different service levels to different customers. This would mean that customers that paid for a higher service level would be entitled to the most available wireless bandwidth.

That product road map wouldn’t be surprising, given the company's heritage, comments Doug Klein CTO, and former CEO of wireless LAN network management software vendor Vernier Networks Inc. (see Vernier Appoints CEO).

"The Trapeze team is a bunch of old Redback guys," says Klein, managing to be both dismissive and ageist at the same time. "They're going to look at things from a carrier perspective."

So why would the company reportedly switch focus to the enterprise? Right product, wrong time, Klein summizes. "Carriers aren't spending any money," he ­snorts. "There's no way they would have got the funding they got [$16 million] with a carrier product."

When Trapeze eventually unveils its product Klein is expecting to see it emphasize performance. "They'll be all about fast silicon and high switching speeds," he predicts. "We guess they'll probably be one of the noisiest [of the WLAN switch startups] in terms of the public speaking."

Like others, Klein also marvels at how much Trapeze appears to be spending in these tough times. "Put it this way, we have a skeleton PR budget," he says. "They have four people just in marcomms [marketing/communications] alone."

News of Trapeze’s switch switcheroo raises as many questions as it answers. For one thing, it’s not entirely clear how far Trapeze was along the path to developing the carrier-class product before changing its mind. Trying to convert a mondo carrier-class device into a smaller enterprise system could have serious implications on price and size (which could end up high and big, respectively). It’s also not known whether Trapeze intends to have things both ways by selling a large product to carriers and a wee-willy-winkie version to enterprises.

The answers to all these and more questions about Trapeze will have to wait until the N+I event in May, where, amidst the gambling and prostitution of Las Vegas, the company intends to make all clear. Until then, we'll just have to glean what information we can about Trapeze, varekai we may find it.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung, special to Light Reading

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:49:00 AM
re: Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo
Cirque du Soleil was recently in San Jose, performing their latest production of Varekai.

Trapeze Networks is in San Jose.

CEO trying to be clever with the link between the 2.

Steve Saunders
Steve Saunders,
User Rank: Blogger
12/5/2012 | 12:49:00 AM
re: Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo
...and I understand that Trapeze attended the same event.

3 degrees of Kevin Bacon.
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:48:43 AM
re: Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo
Prostitution is illegal in Clark County, where Las Vegas is located. This threw me at first; until I realized that the editor actually meant something different.

Having to pay for press coverage at a trade show should really probably be called extortion, but the mistake is understandable...
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 12:48:03 AM
re: Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo
Sounds like Mr. Jones was a little miffed he either wasn't invited or chose not to attend Trapeze's little event...?

His effort to pen an interesting article was admirable however but perhaps next time he can regale the poor reader with something more informative about what many consider the only exciting area in networking right now--solving the WLAN problem--whoever does of course is going places...
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.