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Lucent, Telecom Partners to Deploy Wireless, High-Speed LANs

A Telecom Partners portfolio company Monday formed a strategic relationship with Lucent Technologies Inc. to deploy high-speed wireless access and virtual private network solutions in the U.S. and international markets.

The venture capital firm intends to deploy Lucent Technologies (LU) Internet access server products in U.S. hotels, airports, convention centers and other public areas through its VirtuaLAN Inc. holding company.

The two companies seek to deliver high-speed Internet access and VPN solutions to mobile business professionals.

Telecom Partners tapped Lucent's ORiNOCO server lineup to provide mobile workforces with secure high-speed Internet connectivity at 11 megabits per second. By logging-on to ORiNOCO-equipped laptops or mobile computing devices, VirtuaLAN's subscribers will be able to access their e-mail, download or upload presentations and other large files, or even watch streaming video.

VirtuaLAN caters to mobile business professionals of large corporations that require high-speed access to the Internet while on the road. The company's VPN solution reduces security risks inherent to LAN access and eliminates the frustration and expense involved in connecting to private networks with remote Internet access.

VirtuaLAN's platform network facilitates VPN services that provide end users with the ability to walk into an airport or a hotel room and to securely get high-speed access back to their corporate network.

Mark D. Adolph of Telecom Partners said no other technology offers the levels of security and management that Lucent's servers can provide to well-traveled road warriors.

"We looked at everyone's wireless local area network architectures and selected to roll-out with Lucent's ORiNOCO access server," Adolph said.

Stephen W. Schovee, Telecom Partners managing member, said the firm would continue forming strategic relationships with vendors that can create services based on next generation networks.

"Lucent Technologies and Telecom Partners' portfolio companies have created billion dollar ventures in the past and VirtuaLAN is our next venture," Schovee said.

Virtual LANs have recently developed into an integral feature of switched LAN solutions from most major equipment vendors. Although end-user enthusiasm for VLAN implementation has yet to take off, many organizations have begun to look for vendors that are pursuing a VLAN strategy.

According to a VirtuaLAN white paper, the shift toward LAN switching as a replacement for local routers is bound to accelerate in the future. As Ethernet and Token Ring switch prices decrease on a per-port basis, ambitious organizations are moving toward networks featuring private port LAN switching architectures.

For the majority of end-user organizations VLAN switches have yet to be implemented on a large scale to necessitate secure mobile Internet access. VLANs remain single-vendor solutions because proprietary solutions are anathema to the multi-vendor and open systems policies that have developed in the migration to local area networks and the client server model.

Despite the frequently quoted numbers illuminating the hidden costs of networking VLANS, many analysts suggest that the technology enhances the ability to deploy centralized servers to facilitate enterprise-wide VLAN networks.

Stephen W. Schovee and William J. Elsner manage denver-based Telecom Partners. The seasoned entrepreneurs possess extensive experience in raising capital and focus on securing financing for communication start-up firms. Schovee and Elsner have co-founded six companies including Web hosting phenomenon Verio, Inc.