Intel will today further push major networking companies into a price hole when it makes two announcements squarely aimed at reducing the price of both Fast Ethernet and stackable hubs.
Later on today, Intel will introduce a single chip Fast Ethernet solution aimed at the 10/100Mbps market. The OEMs likely to take the product will also have software intended to cut down the price of managing networks. That could make a direct hit against major players like 3Com and Bay.
However, routers seemed to be off Intel?s radar as we went to press, a Cisco representative said.
Intel?s stackable hub will have options to upgrade from 10Mbps to 100Mbps and the pricing is highly aggressive. Each 10Mbps port will cost around $70 with the higher speed double that at $175 a port.
This will be widely seen as a reaction to 3Com?s 7 April announcement, when it said it would move to the Gigabit standard, with a slate of products to match, as previously reported.
The move is likely to renew speculation that 3Com, which suffered a similar attack on its own market from Intel last January, is still up for sale. IBM was interested before its share price up after it acquired US Robotics.
Meanwhile, the newly acquired subsidiary of Compaq, Microcom, is set to introduce an Access Integrator later this week, in an attempt to ensure better capability for more people using fewer telephone lines, echoing the tunnelling debate last February.
Also, Hewlett Packard still wants to be in the router market and introduced a module for its Advance Stack hubs, switches and routers which supports Cisco. Under such circumstances, the whole market seems to be up for grabs.
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