Optical/IP Networks

Ericsson Waits on WiMax

LM Ericsson (Nasdaq: ERICY) is in no hurry to sign up to the WiMax Forum, despite its status as the last major wireless networking vendor yet to commit to the nascent 802.16 wireless MAN market.

Earlier this week, rival Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) quietly became the latest heavy hitter to join the forum, following in the footsteps of Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE). (See WiMax Gets Serious, Cisco Joins WiMax Forum, Moto Joins WiMax Forum, Nokia Rejoins WiMax Forum and Nortel's WiMax Coming Out.)

A spokesperson for Ericsson today confirmed the vendor “has not signed up for membership... We are keeping an eye on the technology but have nothing new to add" to previous reports (see Ericsson Cool on WiMax).

Analysts believe it is only a matter of time before Ericsson takes the plunge.

“It's more than likely that Ericsson will join the crowd and become a member of the WiMax Forum,” comments Current Analysis’s Peter Jarich. “Besides the fact that every other major wireless vendor has gone down this path, Ericsson's massive customer base ensures that some of its customers will want to launch WiMax. Ericsson will need to show its support. Joining the Forum is a relatively painless step.”

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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