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3Com Goes Dutch

No wires needed (NWN), a Netherlands-based firm, is plunging into the North American reseller market, armed with a leading-edge product and $5.5 million in second-round funding.

No wires needed (NWN), a Netherlands-based firm, is plunging into the North American reseller market, armed with a leading-edge product and $5.5 million in second-round funding.

NWN is new to the United States, but well-known in wireless LAN circles and among investors like 3Com. With three product generations since 1996, NWN has an extensive reseller network in Europe and Asia. "A major U.S. computer maker we're not allowed to name" OEMs the 1100 series, says Jeff Abramowitz, NWN's VP of sales. (Hint: The 1100's access point unit closely resembles Compaq's WL400.)

Abramowitz, formerly director of marketing for 3Com's wireless division, joined NWN last November and opened the company's Menlo Park, Calif., office. He's also president of The Wireless LAN Association.

Among NWN's recent investors is 3Com. Abramowitz declines to disclose the value of 3Com's investment, but says the networking giant holds less than a 10 percent stake in NWN.

NWN plans to spend much of its financing on North American business development. The company is seeking VARs through its Web site.

Last October, NWN was first to market with a wireless-LAN product that supports the enhanced-security IEEE 802.11 HR standard. Running at up to 11Mbps, the 1100 series features 128-bit encryption with the ability to fall back to the 40-bit 802.11 standard when used with third-party products.