Redback Rolls With Aruba
A reader tipped us off to this little blurb on the Redback site about its WLAN offering and the partnership deal with Aruba. It includes the following statement: "Redback has partnered with Aruba to provide a single point of subscriber management for DSL and WiFi."
A spokesman for Redback wasn't particularly forthcoming about the company's wireless LAN plans. "We haven't announced any details yet," the spokesman told Unstrung [ed. note: and, of course, nobody would ever see it on the Website, right?].
But the details on Redback's site make it clear that the firm plans to use its subscriber management system (SMS) and SmartEdge infrastructure "to aggregate... traffic from WLAN hotspots in areas such as coffee shops, hotels, airports, and campuses.
"The Redback platforms... allow for a consistent set of services to be deployed across DSL and Wi-Fi. The SMS or SmartEdge platform is deployed at the service provider's central office or POP, with a RADIUS server for authentication and service profile management."
Redback plans to OEM as yet unspecified Aruba kit as part of the deal. The startup makes wireless LAN switches that act as a controller for a network of stripped-down access points, handling user management and security and adjusting radio signal strength to prevent overlap and interference on RF channels (see Aruba's Switch Pitch).
It's not yet clear if the Aruba deal represents the tip of the WiFi iceberg for Redback. The company's spokesman "couldn't say" if the firm will sign more partnership deals to facilitate its wireless strategy.
Colubris Networks Inc. and Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR) already have a similar hotspot/DSL management deal in place (see Colubris Finds Juniper's Hotspot) If -- as many analysts predict -- major carriers get heavily involved in the hotspot market, we could see more partnerships like this between wireless LAN startups and more established networking players looking to provide the access, management, and billing capabilities that service providers need to handle users roaming across different networks.
For Aruba, the Redback deal is slightly unusual in that the firm has so far solely concentrated on the enterprise sector and left hotspots to others.
But hey, a sale's a sale, right?
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung