NSN: Alvarion's New WiMax Buddy
NSN revealed exclusively to Unstrung this week that it is pulling back from its WiMax investments to concentrate on HSPA+ and LTE (Long Term Evolution), and will rely on multiple partners to meet the WiMax needs of its customers. (See NSN Backs Away From WiMax.)
According to Light Reading sources who requested anonymity, Alvarion is one of those partners.
Alvarion declined to comment, while NSN said it couldn't confirm the relationship as it has struck a number of WiMax partnership deals and needs to treat all of its WiMax "stakeholders" equally. NSN added that it has no intention of identifying its new partners any time soon.
For NSN, teaming up with Alvarion makes sense. The Israeli specialist is the leading specialist vendor, does not have any conflicting partnerships, is regarded as a stable company that is winning new business, and offers financial transparency through its stock market listing. (See Sports News and Alvarion Wins in Nigeria, Norway.)
Alvarion recently reported revenues of $67.9 million and a small loss for the first quarter of this year. (See Alvarion Reports Q1.)
The move also fits in with the current wave of wireless sector restructuring, which has Nortel as the chief catalyst.
NSN is in the process of buying wireless assets -- CDMA and LTE access -- from Nortel as it steps up its efforts to be among the next-generation mobile network elite and build some market muscle in North America. As a result of that strategy, NSN is diverting more resources into its next-generation cellular infrastructure developments, leaving WiMax sidelined. (See NSN Reveals Plans for Nortel's LTE and NSN Picks at Nortel's Mobile Bones .)
NSN, though, doesn't want to go to market without WiMax as part of its overall offering, so it needs some experienced, respected partners.
Alvarion is still recovering from its disastrous, short-lived affair with Nortel, so striking a new partnership with a global force such as Nokia Siemens, which has a significant professional services division and OSS capabilities that can support network planning, integration, and management, makes sense. (See Nortel Kills Mobile WiMax Biz and Alvarion Takes Nortel Hit.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading