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Tropos Taps Time-Worn Talent

Wireless LAN mesh networking hopeful Tropos Networks has hired wired networking veteran Ron Sege as its new CEO.

Tropos, which has developed technology to enable 802.11 wireless LAN mesh networking technology to be used in metropolitan area (MAN) deployments, is following in the footsteps of wireless LAN startups like AirFlow Networks, Aruba Wireless Networks, and Legra Systems Inc. by appointing an old skool networking exec to take it further in the wireless arena (see AirFlow Gets Dough, CEO, Aruba to 'Don' LeBeau?, and Legra's Leg Up?). Sege has been around the networking block a few times. During the late 80s, Sege headed up 3Com's enterprise business. More recently, he been an executive at Lycos and the CEO at Ellacoya Networks Inc.

Sege told Unstrung that he wants to expand Tropos's customer base [ed. note: as opposed to making it smaller?] and open up new markets like Asia [ed. note: didn't work for President Johnson, but hey...]. Of course, Tropos is no stranger to new frontiers: NASA is testing the firm's kit as a potential communications system that could be used on Mars (see WLANs Target Final Frontier).

The CEO also says that he wants to spend time illustrating what markets and applications this esoteric offshoot of wireless networking kit can be used for (see Tropos Taps Intel for more on the technology). Sege says that the system has already been taken up by the public sector and is being employed in video surveillance and other public safety applications (see Cops Pick Tropos WiFi) And then there's the ever-present question of funding for a young startup. Tropos has so far scored $13.5 million in announced funding and an undisclosed amount of cash from Intel Capital. "We're going to need more working capital towards the second half of this year," says Sege.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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