Wireless market facing further consolidation

More wireless hardware and chipset companies are going to look to mergers and takeovers in the coming two years, claims a leading vendor.

Michael Coci, vice president of worldwide systems engineering at Trapeze Networks predicted at the NetEvents conference in Faro that the current wave of consolidation is going to continue for some time yet.

"The rise of 802.11n, coupled with the economic climate is driving a culture of consolidation in the wireless market," he told IT PRO.

"There are cost and competitive pressures on the industry, and acquisitions and mergers are being seen as one way to maintain size and economies of scale in a very competitive market."

Trapeze itself was taken over earlier this year by structured cabling company Belden, a prime example of the interest in the market coupled with the need for size and economic support in order to compete.

At NetEvents, Trapeze was discussing its latest wireless access point, the MP-432 (pictured), which is designed to look like a smoke detector rather than a conventional access point, reducing the risk of theft when installed in public places such as corridors, schools, libraries, bars and coffee shops etc.

"One of our customers now refers to it as ceiling jewellery something they are happy to keep visible rather than something they would rather hide on the otherside of the false ceiling tiles," added Alistair Mutch, worldwide business development director at Trapeze.

The company also revealed details of its wireless deployment at the Belfast Royal Hospitals Trust, where Trapeze wireless access points are covering 80 acres of hospital buildings and grounds, making it one of the largest single network Wi-Fi deployments in the UK.

"The use of the network, and the people running it are very progressive. They are using it for everything from VoIP to conventional data. They also offer distance learning for children who are in for treatment, remote translation services to help with treatment of non-English speakers via IP devices, and can even ring fence part of the network to allow the kids to play games of an evening," Mutch added.