Light Reading
Are ex-Redback employees making a carrier device, or a WLAN switch for the enterprise?

Trapeze's 802.11 Switcheroo

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
1/24/2003
50%
50%

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
lightfantastic
50%
50%
lightfantastic,
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.

-l
Steve Saunders
50%
50%
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.
scooby
50%
50%
scooby,
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...
Deadbeat
50%
50%
Deadbeat,
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...
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (5) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Bumper iPhone Sales Boost Apple Profits
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/28/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.