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HP To Acquire Colubris Networks

Colubris products provide wireless access, management, and security, as well as 802.11n capabilities.

Hewlett-Packard on Monday said it plans to acquire Colubris Networks to expand HP's wireless LAN portfolio and to gain a greater presence in several vertical markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

HP, which expects to complete the transaction by the end of October, said it would integrate Colubris' wireless technology into HP's ProCurve portfolio of switches and other networking products. Colubris products provide wireless access, management, and security, as well as 802.11n capabilities.

HP expects the acquisition to expand its reach into vertical markets, such as hospitality, transportation, health care, manufacturing, wireless service providers, and education.

"The acquisition of Colubris Networks will strengthen ProCurve's hardware, management platform and services, significantly improving the overall performance capabilities of both wired and wireless networks," Marius Haas, senior VP and general manager of ProCurve, said in a statement.

Cisco is the leader in the wireless LAN market. The networking company in May introduced Motion, its new brand for mobile and wireless technology, along with an appliance called the Cisco 3300 Series Mobility Services Engine. The appliance is designed to manage devices and applications across both wireless and wired networks.

HP and other networking vendors will have to catch Cisco in its ability to unify wired and wireless networks and run apps across them. The trend toward pervasive WLANs is expected to pick up steam later this year or in early 2009, following the ratification of the 802.11n standard, which boosts wireless broadband speeds to up to 300 Mbps.

The higher speed than current 802.11 standards is expected to serve as a catalyst for some companies to cut the wired connections that tether users to their desks. However, WLANs still face lingering concerns over reliability, suitability for Internet telephony, and complexity in managing mixed wireless and wired networks.

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