Cisco Hooks Up With Clearwire
Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) has reawakened its mobile WiMax strategy in a big way this morning, partnering with Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR) to provide infrastructure and devices for the upstart carrier's nascent network.
The companies announced Wednesday morning that Clearwire has selected Cisco to be its national Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) core infrastructure partner, while Cisco plans to deliver its first WiMax devices for the network "later this year." (See Clearwire Partners With Cisco.)
Cisco has had WiMax technology on hand for a while now, but the Clearwire partnership represents one of the company's first concrete moves into the space. The networking giant first signaled that it was likely to become a WiMax player back in October 2007 when it bought Navini for $330 million. (See Cisco Buys Navini for $330M.)
Clearwire says that it has now "selected and is in the process of the testing and certification of a Cisco IP NGN architecture that includes Cisco 7600 Series Internet routers, Cisco ONS 15454 and Cisco ONS 15310 platforms, Cisco ASA Firewalls, and the Cisco Service and Application Module for IP (SAMI) Home Agent."
Cisco, meanwhile, is now in the process of developing WiMax devices for the "consumer, small office or home office (SOHO), and small- and medium-sized business (SMB) markets." The first of these is expected sometime later in 2009.
The deal is another signal that devices are finally starting to happen for mobile WiMax networks after notable false starts like the Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) 810 WiMax tablet. Samsung Corp. , for instance, recently showed off its SWD-M100 tablet at the CTIA show. (See WiMax Gizmos Galore!)
Clearwire is likely to announce other partnership deals soon, as it is said to be in talks with several other infrastructure providers. (See Huawei's Clearwire Ride?)
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung