Aruba, Alcatel-Lucent deepen mobility partnership

Aruba and Alcatel-Lucent plan a joint venture to develop enterprise mobility systems

Alcatel-Lucent plans to extend enterprise security into cellular networks through its own fixed-mobile convergence systems and Aruba Networks's "follow-me" security technology as part of a planned joint venture.

The companies said Thursday they will form a venture focused on security for both wired and wireless networks. The companies were vague about what their venture will do, though they said it will deliver hardware and software modules that add secure wireless LAN switching to future Alcatel-Lucent products. But fixed-mobile convergence, a trend that brings together Alcatel-Lucent's enterprise and service-provider network expertise, will play a role in the security initiative, said Michael Tennefoss, head of strategic marketing at Aruba.

Fixed-mobile convergence is intended to let users move easily between carrier mobile networks and the wireless LANs inside homes and offices. It can improve mobile performance in buildings where the cellular network doesn't reach or just give users the fastest possible network for voice or data in a given location.

Aruba's secure wireless LAN products keep enterprise networks safe by controlling access to the WLAN and various corporate resources on a per-user basis, Tennefoss said. Administrators apply policies to users instead of to particular ports or client devices, so no matter how a user tries to get onto the enterprise network, they are treated the same way.

Alcatel-Lucent already resells Aruba products and is Aruba's biggest vendor partner, Tennefoss said. This deal adds joint development and extends the Aruba security technology to Alcatel's wired network equipment. The companies will market a mobility system that combine's Aruba's technology with Alcatel's network gear and communication and collaboration applications, according to a joint news release.

Alcatel-Lucent, in Paris, was formed last year through the merger of Alcatel and the ailing Lucent Technologies. Though a strong player in carrier infrastructure in many countries, the company faces a formidable challenge in enterprise networks in the form of the dominant Cisco Systems.

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