CEO: Ruckus 'definitely circling' every Aruba partner in wake of HP acquisition plans

Shares of Ruckus Wireless were down Friday after the company missed analysts' estimates for earnings and revenue in the first quarter, but the company--like its competitors--is still ready to seize any disruption in the Wi-Fi market caused by HP's purchase of Aruba Networks.

Ruckus CEO Selina Lo


Asked during the company's earnings call about HP's acquisition of Aruba and what that means for Ruckus, as well as the dead Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA)-Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) deal, Ruckus CEO Selina Lo said that clearly, in the near term, the HP/Aruba deal "offers us an opportunity to go after both their strategic partners as well as their channel partners that are not happy about this merger."

Long term, "we think HP is going to focus on the whole portfolio of products, not just Wi-Fi," she said, and with regards to Aruba as a distraction, that will open up opportunities for Ruckus. "We are definitely circling every Aruba partner," she said, although it's too early to announce anything.

Competitors say that because HP has an OEM relationship with Aruba, that could lead to disruptions for Aruba customers and HP competitors that don't want to end up reselling what would become HP gear.

Last week, Aerohive Networks announced that Dell will resell Aerohive's solutions worldwide, combining Aerohive's Wi-Fi and cloud services with Dell's broad set of solutions from the data center to end-point devices.

Industry watchers have said the Aruba acquisition might trigger further consolidation in the WLAN market. According to Network World, speculation has swirled about Aerohive being a possible acquisition target for Dell.

As for Comcast and TWC, Los said that "to us, Time Warner Cable has always been a great customer" and Ruckus has worked with Comcast for a long time. "Whether they merge or not, our work is the same," she said.

Lo also was asked about LTE Assisted Access (LAA)/LTE-Unlicensed (LTE-U) and whether the company views that as an opportunity or a threat.

"LAA is something that Ruckus is watching because LAA ... it basically will include listen before talk and other ways to make sure that the unlicensed spectrum is fairly shared," Lo said. "I think that the use of unlicensed spectrum is something that Ruckus specializes in."

Through multiple generations of Wi-Fi product over the years, "we've proven that we know how to deal with interference in unlicensed spectrum. And I think that the LTE guys, this is something that is relatively new to them, sharing that spectrum, so I think that there's a lot of value that Ruckus can offer."

For more:
- see the Seeking Alpha transcript (reg. req.)
- listen to the earnings call webcast
- see this Network World article
- see this FierceMobileIT article

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