Bucking the trend, WLAN maker Meru plans a stock market flotation in 2010 – but is the wireless LAN moving to the cloud?
Enterprise wireless LAN maker Meru is planning a stock market flotation valued at $86 million in 2010, though others in the field are moving away from hardware towards the cloud.
Meru Networks has said it plans an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange. Up until the first half of 2009, difficult market conditions have meant that wireless LAN start-ups tended to be acquired by larger companies, with HP buying Colubris, Motorola buying Symbol and cabling provider Belden buying Trapeze Networks.
However, this year, the strong performance of faster wireless LANs based on the IEEE 802.11n standard has brightened wireless LAN makers’ prospects, particularly Aruba, the only major publicly-quoted wireless LAN vendor.
“With Meru aiming to hit the market in 2010, we suspect that it will be hoping to have a stronger offering than publicly traded rival Aruba Networks, which initially priced its shares in its March 2007 offering at $11 each” said Brenon Daly at Seeking Alpha.
Meru has been developing its product line, focusing on using 802.11n to offer better services that can replace cables in the enterprise. However, some other vendors such as Aerohive are moving to the cloud, offering wireless LANs that can be managed remotely, removing the need for specialist hardware except for wireless access points.
Aruba offers wireless security services as a service but has not moved to offer completely cloud-based WLANs, while newcomer Meraki has launched itself completely as a cloud-based WLAN.