HP ProCurve is to acquire Colubris Networks in an attempt to broaden its own WLAN offerings with IEEE 802.11n products and a presence in such markets as education, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, manufacturing and service providers.

The company said that the deal would help HP ProCurve address market requirements faster with WLAN products that complement its own, supplied primarily through an OEM arrangement with Motorola.

"As we go through our strategic planning and customer requests, are we providing things at a fast enough pace?" asked HP ProCurve Senior Vice President and General Manager Marius Haas in explaining the Colubris acquisition. "Acquire vis-à-vis develop will bring (products) to market faster."

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Product and operational integration issues are still being worked out, Haas says, but HP ProCurve plans to keep Colubris facilities in Massachusetts and Canada up and running.

HP ProCurve WLAN operations are out of Roseville, California. "It will be interesting to see how much they consolidate into Roseville," says IDC Analyst Abner Germanow.

Haas did not address the Motorola relationship, but Germanow expects the OEM arrangement to wind down gradually. "ProCurve needed a stronger WLAN story than what they've had in the past," he says. "The Motorola OEM [arrangement] was decent for them, but they are not leaders in the WLAN market."

WLAN is a growing presence in such key HP ProCurve verticals as education and hospitality, Germanow notes, which prompted the company to forge ahead with this deal.

"Colubris does very well in hospitality and guest-networking hot spots," Germanow says. "This gives ProCurve better account control."

The enterprise WLAN industry is going through consolidation as Cisco solidifies its dominance on the market with more than 62 percent market share, according to Dell'Oro Group.In June, Belden acquired Trapeze Networks to add WLAN options to its copper and fibre-optic connectivity portfolio.