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Optical/IP

Let Them Aviat

11:00 AM -- Microwave wireless specialist Harris Stratex Networks has changed its name to Aviat Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: AVNW).

Now, with a new name, the company wants to lead the migration to all-IP wireless networking, whether in backhaul, radio access, or core networks.

"IP is what will set us apart," says Shaun McFall, senior VP and chief marketing officer at Aviat. "Our products have been IP enabled for some time now... We'll be much more focused on the evolution to IP-based networking."

McFall says Aviat's wireless IP transport technology roadmap includes equipment capable of several gigabits per second in the next couple of years. Such transport capacity will be needed as more data traffic starts to fill WiMax networks and future Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks.

“There are huge new opportunities in the market’s transition from TDM to Ethernet microwave," notes Patrick Donegan, senior analyst at Heavy Reading. "Incumbency isn’t automatically an advantage for large vendors since many generations of legacy microwave equipment aren’t capable of being upgraded, and this is especially true of some of the biggest vendors.”

Aviat is more than a just microwave company. The vendor expanded into WiMax with the acquisition of Telsima Corp. in March last year; it is actively pursuing the opportunities from the U.S. broadband stimulus funding; and it also has mobile core capabilities with an ASN gateway that it developed with elements from Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR). (See Harris Stratex Snaps Up Telsima for $12M.)

Given Aviat's mobile core assets, one financial analyst has noted that the vendor could be a potential acquisition target for Juniper, which had looked vulnerable in the wake of the mobile core M&A activity last year when Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) bought Starent Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: STAR), and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) picked up WiChorus Inc. (See Cisco/Starent Deal Hurts Juniper, Juniper's Wireless Worry, Juniper Looks Inward for Wireless, Cisco to Buy Starent for $2.9B, and Core Blimey! Tellabs Buys WiChorus.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Unstrung

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