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Airespace Win Is Fair Play

HANGNAIL, Germany -- CeBit 2004 – Wireless LAN switch contender Airespace Inc. is gearing up to announce its “largest ever” European win next week.

According to Marcel Dridje, director and general manager for EMEA, the vendor has won a deal at “one of Europe’s four largest exhibition fairgrounds,” in partnership with OEM vendor Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) (see Alcatel & Nortel Push VOWLAN).

The French connection would suggest the Paris Expo/Porte de Versailles site in Paris may be a possible candidate. But there is also a huge exhibition site in Milan, and let's not forget the home of CeBIT itself -- here in Hanover -- the largest such fairground in the world.

Whichever it is, the Airespace guy isn't saying.

"It is a converged network for voice over wireless LAN and data,” says Dridje. He declines to elaborate further.

This latest win rounds off a successful week for the San Jose, Calif.-based startup. Airespace today used the cavernous halls of Germany’s annual trade fair to announce details of a further push into Europe, striking a German partnership deal and opening a regional office, as well as touting a commercial deployment at a U.K. college (see Airespace Expands in Europe).

On Monday the company also released details of its Japanese assault (see Airespace Touts Japanese Deals).

Such success is the catalyst for talk -- inside the company and among analysts -- that it will go public next year (see Switch Startups Mull IPOs and Airespace, Aruba IPO Hopefuls).

“We really want to IPO,” adds Dridje. “We are really bullish on it. Maybe sometime next year.”

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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