Rumours of an impending deal worth about $120-130m (£60-65m) have circulated recently, but Trapeze’s worldwide business development director Alistair Mutch played down the hearsay.
“There have been stories for the last year and a half,” he said. “I can confirm that we have not been bought by Belden.”
Belden specialises in high speed electronic cables, but has recently dipped its toe into wireless waters with the addition of WLAN switches to its product range. Its first foray into the market was in 2006, when it established a technology partnership with vendor Extricom.
One industry source claimed that, if a deal with Trapeze went ahead, it could be good news for the vendor’s rivals. “There would be a conflict in culture as Belden is a long-in-the-tooth company. $120m is also a tiny amount,” the source said.
“The market would be shrunk down to Cisco and Aruba and I think it could also benefit niche players.”
The source also indicated he felt Trapeze had been hamstrung in recent years by its OEM agreements with companies including Nortel and 3Com. “By doing OEM agreements you are selling your soul. It gets product out there but you cannot make any money.”
Rob Bamforth, principal analyst for Quocirca, told CRN: “I think we are likely to see more consolidation in the WLAN space, especially as you get towards real 802.11N technology, as opposed to draft N.”
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