SAN MATEO (05/24/2000) - Wireless technologies developer ArrayComm Inc. and networking vendor Redback Networks Inc. detailed an alliance Wednesday to develop advanced network solutions for broadband wireless access.
The collaborative effort will merge Redback's Subscriber Management System with ArrayComm's i-Burst technology to produce wireless systems for integration with wired networks, according to officials.
Nitin Shah, executive vice president and general manager of ArrayComm's Internet Products Business Division, commented that the partnership is part of Arraycomm's strategy to leverage existing infrastructure through partnerships, instead of building from the ground up.
"It's a very simplistic, logical argument -- don't try to invent a router and a network," Shah said. "Just be able to plug and play into the existing Internet, the traffic and the content and the solutions."
According to Shah, Arraycomm is still short a few key elements to build out the iBurst platform and is in talks for wireless spectrum, partners in manufacturing base stations, network operators, and partners to create end-user devices. Arraycomm recently partnered with digital medium giant Sony in building out the iBurst platform, and claims to be the only high-speed wireless network to gain FCC-licensed spectrum for live market trials.
Many Internet service providers are hesitant to expand into new arenas, pointed out Craig Mathias, principal of the Ashland, Massachusetts-based analyst firm Farpoint Group.
"Most ISPs are really pretty timid when it come to expanding beyond their basic business model. It'll take the early adopters, the really adventurous ISPs," Mathias said.
Marty Cooper, CEO and co-founder of Arraycomm, and inventor of the cellular phone, believes if you build it, they will come.
"The reality is that the modern paradigm is to get out there and build it, and create a de facto standard. When that standard's proved and when it's shown to be commercial, shown to serve the needs of some important part of society, it will be adopted," Cooper said.
Arraycomm's main competition will be from Ricochet's wireless modems, said Naqi Jaffery, analyst for Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner. He expects Ricochet's wireless modems to reach speeds of 128Kbps in 21 markets this summer.
Ricochet's technology may not be anywhere near as fast as Arraycomm's iBurst, but Jaffery noted that Ricochet has the time-to-market advantage.
Redback Networks Inc., in Sunnyvale California, can be reached at www.redback.com. ArrayComm, in San Jose, California, can be found at www.arraycomm.com.
Geneva Sapp is an InfoWorld reporter.