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March 3, 2009
Microwave backhaul specialist Harris Stratex Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: HSTX) has gone and bought its WiMax partner, Telsima Corp. , for $12 million in cash in a bid to expand into new technologies and emerging markets. (See Harris Stratex Buys Telsima.)
Harris made its WiMax ambitions known in September last year when it announced a partnership with Telsima and showed off a complete WiMax solution with equipment from the core network to the customer premises at the WiMax World show in Chicago. (See Backhaul Player Guns for WiMax, Harris Stratex, Telsima Team, and Harris Does WiMax.)
Now, for $12 million in cash to be paid over the next 12 months, Harris will own the Telsima WiMax assets included in its offering.
So what does Harris get for its money? Telsima's products include 802.16d and 802.16e WiMax base stations, fixed and mobile subscriber devices, Access Services Network (ASN) gateways, as well as network management tools.
And Telsima has customers. The vendor's kit is already deployed by major Indian operators, including Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL) , Reliance Communications Ltd. , Tata Communications Ltd. , and Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (VSNL) (NYSE: VSL). (See Tata Unleashes WiMax in India, Tata Nears Mobile WiMax Vendor Picks, BSNL Plans $750M WiMax Splash, VSNL Pump$ Up WiMax Plan$, and Telsima Lands Deals.)
Telsima could also be set to win more of BSNL's mobile WiMax business, as the operator is expected to announce vendor selections this week. Telsima is on the shortlist along with Alvarion Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , according to this Business Standard report.
Outside India, Telsima has won WiMax deals with Telekom Slovenije through a partnership with Slovenian technology company Iskratel d.o.o. , and it scored a contract win with Neotel (Pty) Ltd. in South Africa. (See Slovenije Picks Telsima and Telsima Wins in S. Africa.)
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month, Harris had a live demo of what it called a "full-blown 4G" solution -- comprising the wireless services gateway, core services gateway, IP wireless backhaul, 802.16e base stations, and devices, all of which fell under a Harris management system.
"In our close working relationship with Telsima we have been greatly impressed by their technology and expertise," said Harald Braun, president and CEO of Harris Stratex in a press statement. "We believe the combination of those qualities and Harris Stratex in-house innovation will significantly enhance our ability to expand into new and emerging markets."
Clearly, the acquisition gives Harris a foothold in the Indian WiMax market and will likely be a springboard into other emerging markets where Harris can sell, not only its wireless backhaul gear, but also now WiMax equipment for broadband access.
“A pre-integrated, end-to-end, broadband wireless access proposition, combining access and backhaul networks, is going to be an attractive proposition to enterprises and carriers in rural markets and in emerging markets generally,” says Patrick Donegan, senior analyst at Heavy Reading.
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung
Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry for the last 20 years on both sides of the Pond. Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications including Communications Week International, Total Telecom and, most recently, Light Reading.
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