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Carrier WiFi

Meru Gets $12M Third Round

Enterprise wireless LAN startup Meru Networks Inc. has scored another $12 million in its latest round of venture funding and is talking up the upcoming prospects for its voice-over-WiFi products.

The third round of funding brings Meru's total venture capital raised to $43 million, in line with its main startup rivals Aruba Wireless Networks ($58 million) and Trapeze Networks Inc. ($50 million). The latest funding comes from Meru's existing investors (see Meru Secures $17M).

"This funding will enable us to significantly expand our sales force and channels, as well as expand our engineering resources," says Ben Gibson, VP of marketing at Meru.

"We are seeing a sharp increase in voice-over-WiFi opportunities, where we feel we are particularly well-positioned," he says. "We are also seeing a sharp rise in enterprise account prospects, where customers are looking to upgrade from departmental WLAN deployments with standalone APs."

Meru introduced its core Air Traffic Control technology, which coordinates the activities of all APs on the WLAN on the same channel, back in October 2003 (see Meru Takes Flight). The firm says that its controller-based approach allows it to deliver business-quality voice and data on a large scale to enterprise clients.

The firm expanded this concept this May with a 12-radio node/access point intended to give a potential throughput of 648 Mbit/s and support around 500 to 600 users for large-scale wireless LAN deployments (see Interop Unwired).

Meru has already started talking up its gear as a part of the emerging fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) market, with an initial trial in Sweden (see Meru Touts FMC Ambitions ). "The fixed-mobile convergence market is definitely starting to heat up, both from a customer prospect and partnership perspective," claims Gibson (see Meru Talks Up Japan).

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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