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What's really happening at Bluesocket?

Some answers to our questions

Article comments

Bluesocket has been a puzzle to us for five years. It had a highly regarded range of wireless LAN gateways, but in 2003/4 it lagged on the move to wireless switches. Since then, it's popped up occasionally, telling us it has a technology lead, and reporting positives moves in Gartnerspace. But real evidence of its performance has been scarce.

Our readers are clearly also puzzled - a recent blog post sparked a continuing burst of queries. We asked why the company sold Pingtel, the open-source PBX company which it only bought it last year?

Readers tell us the company has downsized drastically, and closed offices abroad - but these could just be people with some axe to grind.

So we are pleased to have a chance to hear some explanations from CEO Mads Lillelund, in a phone interview.

Still winning customers?

As a preliminary, he defends Bluseocket's customers and products. The company started with a security gateway that handled standalone access points, he says, but: "as the market changed, thin access points became the defacto standard. In 2005/6 Bluesocket developed into a full solution wireless LAN company, and built up 2,600 customers in the WLAN area" (a December 2007 release claims more than 3000).

The company's strength is in education (about 1000 customers), enterprise (another 1000 plus) and healthcare (around 450) he says, with the remainder of its customers in smaller vertical markets. The hospitality sector is growing, he says: "We're now having an opportunity to work with world class systems integrators, in the hotel and convention area."

"It's a strong portfolio of customers," he says. "We generate about 44 percent of our quarterly revenue from new customers and the rest from the existing customer base."

Leading in 802.11n?

The company started shipping an 802.11n fast Wi-Fi access points in May, he tells me.
That's later than other vendors, I point out.

Well, he counters, most vendors are using the same [Atheros] silicon, and the other vendors must have been selling APs based on early spins of the silicon, he says. "If they were selling earlier than us, they had to be on non-GA [general availability] chips."

I don't believe this - and after the interview, I check, and find Aruba's claim to have sold 10,000 Atheros-based 802.11n APs before May. (Cisco claims 50,000,but that is on earlier Marvell silicon).


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Wireleess22 said: Well everyone below is eating their words now BlueSocket are now only one in 3 Wi-Fi vendors who have a finalised distributed architecture approach or 4th generation wireless Only Xirrus and AeroHive can claim this and Cisco Aruba Trapeze Meru and HP are all a good 18 months behind - even the damn head of Cisco RampD admitted distributed to probably being the future for high density Wi-Fi which is certainly the way the market will NEED to go to handle the nex generation of bandwidth hungry applicationsBlueSocket are in for a major comeback - and they damn well deserve some credibility for going into RampD mode for 2 years and coming back with some new generation ammunition you lot can all suck on No I dont work for them but spent many years selling Xirrus Wi-Fi and we had an 90 success rate win over all the other vendors you lot have mentioned as the top dogs when in actually fact they are all jack of all trades masters of none

Insider said: Bluesocket is going down A few weeks ago they had a let go more than a dozen employees again Bluesocket headcount is now in the low 20sSee the response on Network World 80211n article Do I have to say morehttpswwwlinuxworldcomcomhttpwwwnetworkworldcomco

Who-Socket? said: Bluesocket has no money no customers that paid for the product and no presence in the market Why would anyone buy their products Unless they were free Stick with Cisco and Aruba they will not go out of business and make much better products

WiFi said: Theyve got great stuff that was never the issue When Aruba Airespace Trapeze launched the never got the big VC money to go for it kept changing CEOs every 18 months and prayed Cisco would buy them

802.11n said: Heres a little insight Bluesocket Best Overall Product in Network World Clear Choice Testhttpwwwnetworkworldcomre

Interested Reader said: Nice article Peter its a pitty we dont get more insight into what is actually happening at Bluesocket or what their plans are but then that seems to have been an ongoing trend I guess we will just have to wait and see how the story develops

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