ADTRAN's Bluesocket Acquisition Signals Growing Interest in WiFi Cloud Services

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ADTRAN's (NAS: ADTN) acquisition of Burlington, Mass.-based Bluesocket, a wireless LAN vendor, may at first blush seem enterprise-focused, but it could also have relevance to service providers offering cloud-based services.

The deal has a number of benefits for the service provider community, which, for example, could use Bluesocket's technology to deliver WiFi-based virtual cloud services.

In announcing the deal, ADTRAN said that service providers "will also benefit from the unique ability to offer new cloud-based wireless services where both management and control are centralized in a secure data center."

From a wireless LAN standpoint, the Bluesocket acquisition is ADTRAN's competitive response to other prominent wireless LAN vendors, such as Cisco (NAS: CSCO) , that have been increasing the speed and range of their products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bluesocket's management team and product portfolio will be incorporated into ADTRAN's Enterprise Networks Division.

Bluesocket gained initial prominence in the WiFi world by selling its WLAN wares, which incorporate "virtual control" technologies for large enterprises.

Selling enterprise equipment to service providers that purchase its flagship products like the Total Access 5000 isn't a foreign concept to ADTRAN. Interestingly, the vendor has been using its own service provider sales channel to sell its enterprise products to support managed service offerings, a strategy that could include new WiFi products like Bluesocket.

Having migrated away from what they call a "just products" approach to a "selling solutions" approach with unified communications (UC) being a major anchor point, Rick Schansman, Sr. VP and general manager, ADTRAN said during its ADTRAN CONNECT event last December that, "we are more well known in the service provider space, they are taking us into major enterprise customers."   

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