Alcatel has plugged the final gap in its IP product strategy with its second acquisition of the week.
Alcatel will purchase Milpitas, California based Assured Access, a vendor of remote access equipment, for $350 million in cash. Earlier this week, Alcatel bought another US data networking company, Xylan, for $2 billion.
Continuing to trade as Assured Access, the company will develop remote access products for Alcatel's networking product range. Alcatel will sell these remote access products to carriers and service providers that offer virtual private network services.
Remote access is the one major gap left in Alcatel's IP strategy. Information prepared by Morgan Stanley after the Xylan acquisition highlighted remote access as the missing area in Alcatel's Lan/Wan portfolio. Rivals Nortel Networks, Lucent and Cisco are all strong in this area.
"On Tuesday [the IP strategy] was pretty well filled in except in the area of RAS (remote access servers)," said Alcatel spokesman Niall Hickey. "That's now been filled in with this acquisition."
Alcatel's first IP technology acquisition was in October when it bought gigabit Ethernet vendor Packet Engines for $315 million.
In a related announcement, Alcatel has created an Internet division, encompassing Packet Engines, Xylan and Assured Access as well as its other IP resources.
The division will lead Alcatel's efforts in high speed asynchronous digital subscriber line (ADSL) technology, as well as remote access products and voice over IP applications.
Alcatel said the fast growing Internet market presents it with great opportunities.
"We are determined to take the initiative and to be a world leader in this segment, by offering our customers the most comprehensive product line and best technology," said Alcatel's chief executive, Serge Tchuruk, in a statement.
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