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Mobile

Nortel Fleshes Out WiMax Strategy

CHICAGO -- WiMax World 2008 -- More details of Nortel Networks Ltd. 's WiMax strategy are emerging, and the plan appears to be very similar to the re-badging approach the vendor took with its 3G CDMA offerings.

Nortel has already partnered with Alvarion Technologies Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR) for WiMax base stations and is now linking up with WiChorus Inc. to use the startup's SmartCore home agent (HA) in its system. (See Nortel Flunks WiMax.)

The HA software helps to enable the roaming and handoff of mobile data in a WiMax network. (See WiChorus Intros Gateway, WiChorus Touts 4G Core, and Wireless Funding Soars in September.)

The move, which follows recent questions about Nortel's 4G future, harks back to its 3G strategy. Nortel partnered with companies such as Airvana Inc. and Starent Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: STAR) to enable a 3G CDMA strategy and is following the same path for WiMax. (See Airvana, Nortel Partner.)

It is not yet clear whether Nortel will follow the same OEM path for long-term evolution (LTE) wireless technology. The move indicates, however, that, like other vendors, Nortel is going to pull together a more complete WiMax system using other companies' know-how and reduce its potential R&D spend in the process. (See Nortel 4G Plans Up in the Air.)

Whatever it means for Nortel, the OEM arrangement is good news for WiChorus. The San Jose, Calif.-based company is also talking up deals with ADC (Nasdaq: ADCT), Elitecore Technologies Ltd. , Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), and ZyXEL Communications Corp. at the show.

"It's an exciting time for us," says Rehan Jalil, president and CEO of WiChorus.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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