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Wireless Scuttlebutt

Another day, another round of mischievous gossip-mongering. Here are Unstrung’s favourite rumors du jour:

Nokia linked to Alvarion OEM
Fresh from its announcement last week surrounding plans to develop kit based on 802.16e technology, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) has now been linked to a potential OEM deal with Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR). (See Nokia Commits to Mobile WiMax.)

According to Israeli newswire Globes, Nokia is in talks with the broadband wireless supplier over a potential WiMax partnership.

Alvarion has already signed up Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), and Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) as OEM partners for 802.16 kit, and is regarded as a major player in the inchoate WiMax space (see Alvarion & Alcatel Get Fixed Up, Lucent to Resell Alvarion, and Siemens Chooses Alvarion).

Last Friday, Nokia announced it will work with silicon vendor Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) “on base station strategies to help deploy a WiMax network infrastructure that will provide adequate and reliable coverage.” (See Nokia, Intel Team on WiMax.) Intel has a chipset supply agreement with Alvarion, and recently demo'd its silicon using Alvarion’s equipment (see Alvarion Demos Rosedale).

Both Alvarion and Nokia declined to comment.

Whither Megisto?
Data services platform startup Megisto is rumoured to be on the verge of a major company shakeout.

Several sources have told Unstrung that the vendor is struggling to stay alive, amid mumblings that the its VC investors are set to pull the plug.

Megisto has never been far from speculation surrounding its health (see Megisto Defends Maxis Win and Megisto Denies Brain Drain). The company has scored deals at Maxis Communications Bhd., Meteor Mobile Communications Ltd., and StarHub Pte. Ltd. (see Megisto Flickers in Europe, Megisto Maxes Up, and Megisto Gleams at StarHub).

Megisto was unable to comment due to “commercial reasons.” Investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, Grotech Capital Group, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Norwest Venture Partners did not respond to calls and emails.

Flarion flashes in Finland?
Alternative wireless infrastructure vendor Flarion Technologies will discover next week whether it has won a deal to supply its Flash-OFDM kit in the 450MHz spectrum band in Finland.

Seven carriers have entered a regional beauty contest for the award of a 450MHz license (see Finnish Carriers Bid for 450 License). On paper, at least, the odds appear to be in Flarion’s favor.

Four of the seven bidders -- Digita Oy, Finnet Laajakaistaverkot Oy, LynxNet Oy, and Saunalahti Group Oyj -- have expressed an intent to deploy Flash-OFDM technology, should they win the license award (see Flarion Finds Finnish Friend and Saunalahti Eyes Flash-OFDM).

Elisa Oyj plans to deploy "either CDMA-2000 1XEV-DO or Flash-OFDM,” while Cubio Networks Oy and Nordisk Mobiltelefon AB are opting for CDMA technology.

Flarion is yet to announce a European win following an earlier partnership with Siemens in the 450MHz band, although scuttlebutt suggests a deal with EuroTel Bratislava a.s. has already been inked (see Flarion Flashes With Siemens and Flarion, Siemens in at Eurotel).

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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