Optical/IP Networks

Lucent Joins WiMax Forum

Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) has quietly become the latest heavy hitter to join the WiMax Forum, Unstrung has learned.

The vendor has confirmed a research note from Current Analysis noting that "it has joined the WiMax Forum."

“We have applied for membership and are working with the forum,” Lucent spokesman John Verdon tells Unstrung. Specific details are not yet available.

Until now, the U.S. vendor has preferred to adopt a wait-and-see attitude to the nascent 802.16 wireless MAN market, leaving incumbent rivals to bask in the limelight (see Lucent Waffles on WiMax).

Big guns 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) have already signaled their intent to compete in the market. (See WiMax Gets Serious, Cisco Joins WiMax Forum, Moto Joins WiMax Forum, Nokia Rejoins WiMax Forum, and Nortel's WiMax Coming Out.)

“Lucent's taken a smart tack on WiMax,” argues Current Analysis's Peter Jarich. “Joining the Forum makes sense, if only to help put together a solution for customers that want one. Yet, avoiding the strategy of announcing specific R&D plans allows it to hedge its bets if the market fails to take off.”

Lucent’s move leaves Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY) as the last major networking vendor that has yet to commit to WiMax (see Ericsson Cool on WiMax).

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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