Nortel Unwires The Enterprise: The Opportunity And The Risk

Nortel last week announced its new strategy to service the enterprise WLAN market. So, what does this mean for the WLAN market?

  • Opportunity. Nortel takes full ownership of its WLAN destiny and moves from OEMing; a fact that severely crippled the vendor in Forrester's WLAN Wave report. Nortel taking control of WLAN product development shows focus on a large and important piece of ubiquitous mobility solutions. Waiting for .11n product cycles also gives Nortel a ramp as .11n will take at least two years to reach critical mass in the market.

  • Risk. Execution on this strategy will be linked to its longevity in the WLAN marketplace. An OEM past, paired with unclear WLAN strategy to-date, paints this announcement as an attempt to regain market credibility. Nortel’s ability to execute, gain share, and prove itself an innovator in WLAN will determine the company’s future in enterprise mobility. Any false starts or missteps after this announcement are likely to cost the company dearly.

If well played, Nortel may stand among few vendors providing Phase 3.0 solutions, if not, they could be out of contention.

By Chris Silva. 


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