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Cisco pulls out of WiMAX market, almost

ST and Ericsson will go their seperate ways

IP and core network equipment vendor Cisco has pulled the plug on its WiMAX base station operation, further highlighting the ill health of the sector.

Cisco has been stepping up its game in the telecoms sector ahead of the shift to all IP next generation networks, since it missed the boat during the rollout of 3G. The US company has a presence in both the WiMAX and LTE sectors but more as a provider of packet core networking equipment as well as edge technologies like wifi and femtocells.

Well, make that only as a provider of core and edge infrastructure. “After careful review of our mobility strategy and investments, we have decided to discontinue designing and building new WiMAX base stations,” a company spokesman said this week.

The move raises some questions over Cisco’s $330m acquisition of WiMAX kit maker Navini Networks in 2007. Texas-based Navini develops smart beamforming technologies with MIMO (Multi-Input Multi-Output) antennas, making it a strategic player in the Mobile WiMAX 802.16e space.

But Navini might be just as at home in Cisco’s edge technology portfolio where it extends the company’s wifi and wifi mesh portfolios to include WiMAX.

“We are committed to continue with our current service provider mobility strategy to provide a radio-agnostic approach to focus on the packet core and to also focus investment in radio technologies such as femtocell and wifi,” the company spokesman said.

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2 comments

  1. Jim 10/03/2010 @ 3:04 pm

    “But Navini might be just as at home in Cisco’s edge technology portfolio where it extends the company’s wifi and wifi mesh portfolios to include WiMAX.”

    What does this mean? Engineering personnel have reassigned … is this what that means?

    Also note: No one yet has an 8-element beamforming apparatus for the 2.5/3.5 GHz bands; not Moto, not Huawei, not anybody … ‘cept the BWX 8300 series family by Cisco.

  2. leslie 12/03/2010 @ 5:17 pm

    Several ISP’s in africa including us, invested in Navini Wimax solutions prior to it being bought by Cisco. With Cisco, upgrading our bts to wimax 16e, profile B and then C has proven to be a most expensive experience, and for us as well as several ISP’s prohibitive. With Cisco’s announcement, i am really sorry for those African ISP’s that migrated. Once again we are left holding the “empty can”.

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