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WLAN Prattle

LONDON – The WLAN Event – As the 802.11 bandwagon rolls into town for its annual outing, Unstrung picks its top news nuggets from this year’s show.

Clive’s back!
Unstrung favorite Clive Mayhew-Begg is back, folks (see WLAN's Big Day Out and Something for the Weekend, Sir?).

Launched amidst a blaze of publicity two years ago, U.K. wireless LAN broadband service provider My Zones Ltd. soon fell from grace and filed for administration [ed. note: that's bankruptcy, my Fellow Americans] in March 2004 (see MyZones Zones Out).

CEO Clive Mayhew-Begg isn’t about to let this one fade away, however.

“Our new business, MyZones Europe Ltd., bought the assets of My Zones Ltd.,” he says. The company has altered its previous business model of selling directly to consumers and is now targeting the ISP community. Having scored funding in February, Mayhew-Begg is eager to tout signed deals with the likes of Lumison [ed. note: whose Website boasts, "Lumison was also Britain's 52nd fastest growing technology company, according to the Sunday Times TechTrack 100 in 2001." Heady stuff. Emphasis added.] and Onyx Internet. “We have over 200 hotspots so far and want to expand into Europe. We are the only infrastructure provider to ISPs.”

Just go easy on the hype this time, Clive.

Exit Excilan
European hotspot roaming provider RoamPoint has acquired the assets of struggling rival Excilan SA (see RoamPoint Acquires Excilan). Several sources tell Unstrung that Luxembourg-based Excilan filed for bankruptcy [ed. note: or, as I like to call it, "administration"] in recent days. “It’s all happened in the last 48 hours,” admits George Polk, managing director of RoamPoint’s parent company, The Cloud. According to a statement, Excilan “has operated WiFi roaming services through over 6,000 hotspot locations from over forty WiFi network operators across the world, and has provided WiFi roaming services for seventeen operators.”

Aruba dives into the Big Blue
WLAN startup Aruba Wireless Networks has confirmed previous speculation linking it to a partnership with IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM). (See IBM's WLAN Two-fer.) According to Aruba’s communications director, David Callisch, the deal was struck in recent weeks. “Hampshire County Council in the U.K. wanted our kit but dealt with IBM. Eight months later we forged this agreement… We had been after IBM for quite some time.”

Callisch is keen to stress that the partnership is not an official OEM or reseller agreement, but “allows IBM to offer our gear on a deal-by-deal basis.” Aruba’s spokesman says the tieup has already netted the vendor “a number of U.K. customers.”

Intel mutes CPE talk
Just in case you’ve been living in a cave this week, Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) has announced the launch of its 802.16 silicon targeted at the customer premises equipment market (CPE) (see WiMax Gets Double Boost).

All well and good, but it appears Intel is less than happy with the term "CPE." “We aren’t going to call it that,” Scott Richardson, general manager of Intel's broadband wireless solutions division, informed conference delegates. “It’s a modem. It’s not a CPE.”

O-kaaay.

Other announcements to have caught Unstrung’s attention at the show this week include: — Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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