Gateway enters corporate network arena

Gateway is entering the corporate networking equipment market with a line of wireless access points and low-end Lan switches.

Gateway is entering the corporate networking equipment market with a line of wireless access points and low-end Lan switches.

The company will offer nine switches ranging from $79 to $799 and two access points priced at $299 and $399, primarily for midsized businesses, said Chad McDonald, manager of Gateway's networking division.

One of Gateway's goals is to give corporate users a well-rounded product offering. The company already sells servers to businesses but has had to refer customers who want switches to other suppliers.

The new products will compete with offerings from Dell, which started selling switches in 2001.

"These are definitely rock-bottom prices," said IDC analyst Maximilian Flisi, although he added that Gateway will, primarily, offer the networking gear to complement its servers, PCs and storage devices.

"They aren't going to gain new customers by doing this, and if they expect to do so, well, good luck to them," Flisi said, noting that Dell makes a "miniscule" amount of revenue from its switching line.

More than half of Gateway's total revenue of $3.4bn for last year came from sales of corporate-oriented products and services, said company spokesman Ted Ladd.

Last week Gateway announced it would close its 188 company-owed retail stores, laying off about 2,500 workers. The company said it will seek wider retail distribution of its consumer products.

Matt Hamblen writes for Computerworld

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