Cisco snaps up wireless LAN outfit

Wed, 01/12/2005 - 7:00pm
Karen Brown

Cisco Systems Inc. is in acquisition mode once again, this time announcing an agreement to buy wireless local-area networking systems provider Airespace Inc. for approximately $450 million.

Privately-held San Jose-based Airespace has a portfolio of 802.11 technology including switches, access points, security and locator systems. That will expand Cisco's wireless LAN product portfolio, which now includes its Structured Wireless-Aware Network framework product line and the Linksys customer premises gear division.

Cisco will fork over about $450 million in stock and assumed options for Airespace. Subject to approval from federal regulators, the deal should close some time this spring. Upon closing, Airespace will be folded into Cisco's data center, switching and wireless technologies group.

"Airespace is a strong technological and cultural fit with an outstanding team," said Luca Cafiero, senior vice president for Cisco's data center, switching and wireless technology group, in a release. "Cisco and Airespace are both committed to helping our customers take advantage of the productivity benefits of seamless mobility and computing by accelerating the adoption of intelligent, adaptive WLAN infrastructure."

Airespace's centralized WLAN technology uses centralized network architecture, an approach that contrasts with the distributed scheme used by Cisco's existing Structured Wireless-Aware Network framework product line. By offering both schemes, the company hopes to expand its appeal to enterprise customers.


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