3Com last week announced a definitive agreement to acquire NBX, a developer of network-based telephony systems that integrate voice and data over small business LANs and WANs.
The transaction is valued at approximately $90 million in cash and the assumption of stock options, and will be accounted for as a purchase.
According to 3Com's estimates, the worldwide market for LAN telephony will be approximately $5 billion by 2003 with more than two-thirds of the sales going to small and mid-sized enterprises.
Over the past few months 3Com has made three strategic telephony announcements.
3Com and Siemens AG announced a joint venture in December to develop LAN telephony and multimedia products.
The two companies have already delivered their first product, the SuperStack II PBX 1000. The 3Com-Siemens joint venture is focused on opportunities in mid-sized and large enterprises.
The Pathbuilder S200 voice access switch, announced in October, enables customers to add voice to existing, router-based wide-area data networks. Voice-over IP capabilities have been added to 3Com's Total Control remote access concentrator.
Meanwhile, 3Com's competitors have not been standing still. Cisco last year bought network PBX vendor Selsius, a competitor of NBX.