3Com Targets Cisco With New Line Of Advanced Switches

The 8800 family of Terabit core switches comes in three sizes, with prices ranging from $26,0000 for a smaller 7-slot system to $36,000 for the full capacity 14-slot system. The switches were developed as part of a joint venture 3Com has with the China-based company Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., of which 3Com owns 49 percent.

3Com has also announced a service package for the new switch line, which combines implementation services, a year of on-site support, and multiple days of post-installation consultation.

"This offering is intended to directly address customers' expressed, continued frustration with competitive solutions that employ proprietary protocols, force vendor lock-in and are overpriced," Mehmet Balos, Vice President of Global Marketing and Corporate Communications, 3Com, said in a statement.

In addition to the new 8800 family of switches, 3Com also has announced that it is extending the reach of its Switch 7700 and SuperStack 3 Switch 3780 from the network edge to the core with new 10-Gigabit modules.

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The new switch line is an attempt by 3Com to broaden its reach into the enterprise market. Significantly, it has used its partnership with a China-based company to deliver the switches at a lower price than competitors, notably Cisco.

At a recent conference call, Cisco President and CEO John Chambers cited competition from China as a potential threat to his company. He said that Cisco will ultimately compete on offering global services, support, integration, and new technologies, rather than on price alone.