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Aruba Allies With Alcatel

Wireless LAN switch startup Aruba Wireless Networks is feeling the fringe benefits of Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) acquisition of Airespace Inc..

The company has inked an OEM deal with one of Airespace's former partners, the Gallic giant Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), and the two will work together to develop voice-over-WLAN and security products.

"They approached us even before the Airespace acquisition," claims Keerti Melkote, VP of marketing at Aruba. "They wanted a second source to differentiate their product from Nortel's."

Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) is another Airespace partner that many in the industry expect to sign up another OEM deal. Melkote reckons that Trapeze Networks Inc. will announce a deal with Nortel any day now, although neither company has yet made any comments on a potential deal (see Sources: Juniper Eyeing Trapeze).

Meanwhile, Aruba is plotting two generations of voice products for da big A and the pair will work on a box combining Aruba's security features with an Alcatel wired LAN box. The initial voice and security kit is expected to hit the market in a couple of months.

And it just so happens Aruba's announcement is in the same week that Cisco's Airespace acquisition is expected to close. Funny that.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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