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Colubris Plots Bigger Box

Wireless LAN startup Colubris Networks Inc. will soon announce a centralized wireless LAN overlay architecture to take on the 802.11 switch players in the enterprise market, Unstrung has learned.

Colubris, which initially established itself as an equipment supplier to the WiFi hotspot market, already has a wireless LAN management console, access controllers, and access points for enterprise applications (see Colubris's Enterprise Ambitions and Colubris's Talk Box).

Now, an industry source tells us, the firm intends to introduce a centralized product that will help it go after larger corporate accounts.

"[It's] a centralized architecture... that will compete with the wireless LAN switch guys," confirms an analyst source.

Bob Olson, PR director at Colubris, says that the company is not prepared to comment at the moment, while admitting that centralized architectures are "the direction the industry is heading in." Colubris's potential move will bring it further into the incredibly competitive wireless LAN switch arena. Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL) pioneered the concept of centrally managing and securing a network of "skinny" APs from a switch back in late 2002, as a way of lowering the cost of running WiFi in a business (see Symbol's Cisco Killer?). After that, a whole mess of startups like Airespace Inc., Aruba Wireless Networks, and Trapeze Networks Inc. arrived on the market, touting their shiny new boxes (see WLAN Switch Shakeout Looms?). And, recently, many feel that enterprise 802.11 market leader Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has validated the entire sector by buying Airespace for $450 million (see Cisco Buys Airespace).

Of course, there is also the small matter of prices for corporate standalone access points dropping like a stone recently. As the latest Unstrung Insider points out, the average price of an enterprise access point has fallen by around $100 in the last six months, while switch system prices have remained fairly steady (see 802.11 Switches Stand Ground).

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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