Telecoms manufacturer Lucent is entering the crowded corporate Lan arena by snapping up a one-year-old gigabit Ethernet startup for $200 million of Lucent stock.
Prominet develops Layer Two and Layer Three gigabit Ethernet Lan technology.
It was founded by Menachem Abraham, former Chipcom chief technology officer and inventor of broadband Ethernet.
Prominet's products will give Lucent another horse to back in the intelligent switch stakes. In September, it unveiled a range of ATM-based intelligent switches for its data networking offerings.
Lucent said the deal signals a significant push into the corporate networking field.
Bill O'Shea, president of Lucent's data networking systems group, said: 'Computer users have an insatiable demand for extra bandwidth to communicate through Lans, and over Wans such as the internet. That is why the gigabit Ethernet industry is expected to grow from today's state of infancy to $1 billion by 2000.'
Prominet began shipping its P550 Cajun switch in September this year, providing 10/100/1000Mbps of capacity in a seven-slot chassis. It is set to begin customer trials of the Cajun switch with integrated routing, which offers packet-by-packet IP and IPX routing while performing the same Layer Three functions as traditional software-based routers.
The buyout of Prominet is the latest in a glut of acquisitions made by Lucent this year. In October, it bagged Livingston Enterprises, a provider of remote access networking products for the internet.
Earlier this year, the manufacturer also acquired Octel, supplier of voice systems.
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