Wireless LAN maker Trapeze Networks has bought Newbury Networks, a specialist in location technology, in the latest consolidation of the wireless LAN market.
No price was given for the purchase of privately owned Newbury, but executives acknowledged that the purchase was driven by the fact that specialist WLAN companies are struggling. Newbury makes a specialist location services appliance, as well as application software, while Trapeze sells its own version of the Newbury appliance.
"Weve been selling the LA200, our location appliance [based on Newbury technology], and Newbury is selling in applications behind that. " said Jim Vogt, president of Trapeze. "But we have better leverage, and now we will get revenue from the applications as well as the appliance. Newbury needed somebody to invest in the business, and we're going to give them the commercial boos they needed."
Trapeze plans to use Newbury's location technology for security "fingerprinting", preventing access by applications in certain locations such as outside the building - reviving an idea which Newbury packaged as Wireless Watchdog. "We think this is a viable alternative to traditional IDS/IDP technology," said Vogt. "The difference from Newbury's WiFi Watchdog. Is that we have one integrated product, instead of running two separate systems."
Newbury Networks will remain an independent business unit, employing sixteen people at its Boston headquarters, and Trapeze intends to exploit Newbury's patents for location services.
"Location and tracking technology is rapidly becoming a key requirement on all enterprise-class wireless-LAN systems," said Craig Mathias, of Farpoint Group. "Newbury Networks has been a clear leader in this field since its inception, and the acquisition provides Trapeze Networks with both solid technology and a proven portfolio of important business applications."
The announcement brings Trapeze back into view, after its purchase by structured cabling company Belden in June. The company will keep its identity within Belden, and is already helping the wiring company make money by adding on wireless applications to its installations, said Vogt.