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Optical/IP

Cisco to Seek Hotspot Partner?

HANNOVER, Germany -- CeBIT 2003 -- Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) will probably need help from a third party in order to supply the burgeoning carrier-managed 802.11 hotspot market, a senior executive revealed here today. The IP giant is already numero uno in the enterprise 802.11 equipment market (see WLAN Market Doubled in '02).

"We are very strong in the enterprise market, that is true," says Cisco's VP of worldwide mobile operations Massimo Migliuolo. "But 802.11 for operators is much more complex. Do we need to do everything ourselves? I don't think so. Will we need to partner in this area? Probably yes."

Migliuolo declined to comment on Cisco 802.11 product roadmaps. One thing he is keen on, though, is instant messaging. Especially from planes. Migliuolo is now a veteran of the in-flight Internet access service to be had on flights from Frankfurt to Washington (see WLAN: Ready for Takeoff and Cisco Takes to the Skies). "It's great! You can swap messages with your colleagues and family from the plane. It's a great way to keep in touch!"

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung

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