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Cisco acquires wireless network competitor Airespace

Cisco has announced a definitive agreement to acquire wireless vendor Airespace for approximately US$450 million in stock and assumed options.

Cisco has announced a definitive agreement to acquire wireless vendor Airespace for approximately US$450 million in stock and assumed options. Airespace is a provider of wireless local area networking (WLAN) systems and specialises in secure, flexible, and cost effective solutions for enterprise and commercial customers. Airespace was founded in July 2001 and has approximately 175 employees.

Cisco will use the acquisition to expand its WLAN solution portfolio and try to speed up delivery of key WLAN features and capabilities for its customer base. Airespace’s product portfolio includes WLAN controllers, access points, WLAN management and location software, and security capabilities, including intrusion detection systems (IDS). The acquisition will allow Cisco to address a broader set of market segments and integrate advanced capabilities into current products.

“As part of our global systems approach to networking, we continually look for complementary technology that offers new value to our customers. Airespace is a strong technological and cultural fit with an outstanding team,” says Luca Cafiero, senior vice president, data centre, switching and wireless technology group at Cisco.

“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,” he adds.

Cisco claims the WLAN business market is expanding rapidly in part because wireless networks enable customers to move towards a more agile and efficient work environment that fosters collaboration and accelerates the pace of business.

The vendor further claims that the addition of Airespace’s products and technology will allow Cisco to offer customers the strongest and most comprehensive suite of WLAN solutions in the industry, spanning a wide range of customer sizes and needs. In the near term, Cisco will continue to offer and support both the existing Cisco Structured Wireless-Aware Network framework (SWAN) and Airespace product lines.
Upon close of the transaction, Airespace will join Cisco’s data centre, switching and wireless technology group.

The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions, including approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act, and is expected to close in the third quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2005 ending April 30, 2005.

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