Airespace, the wireless LAN switch maker, formed a partnership with IBM: The deal will open the door for Airespace to market its products to IBM customers. Among startup WLAN switch vendors, Airespace has scored some notable deals. It has OEM agreements with Alcatel, Nortel, NEC, and a co-development deal with D-Link. Some other switch makers have also scored big-name deals as well. Trapeze recently announced that it formed an OEM deal with 3Com that is expected to blossom into a co-development relationship.
Observers have been expecting a shake-out in the WLAN switch market essentially since the segment was born because it appears that there are too many startups for the market to support. Partnerships with big-name vendors certainly adds credibility to the startups which can in turn help them raise financing and potentially stay in business.