PCCW Drops Navini

PCCW Ltd. (NYSE: PCW; Hong Kong: 0008) has dropped broadband wireless access vendor Navini Networks Inc. as a supplier of its U.K. network rollout.

In May this year PCCW’s local subsidiary, U.K. Broadband, announced plans to launch a 3.4GHz wireless broadband service in the Thames Valley area, using kit from both IPWireless Inc. and Navini. The network can potentially cover approximately 300,000 homes in west London (see PCCW Fixes UK Wireless and IPWireless Powers PCCW).

The company is now attempting to extend the service throughout the U.K., ploughing a reported $40 million into the commercial rollout of up to 60 base stations next year.

“We will be engaging in a phased rollout approach in urban areas starting in 2005,” marketing manager Hannah Williams tells Unstrung. “We have now been given funding for next year because our soft launch in the Thames Valley was successful. We are taking a prudent and balanced approach to that program.”

Despite the earlier partnership, Navini will not be included in such plans. “We were using both IPWireless and Navini Networks in the trial, but will be working with IPWireless as we progressively rollout. The technology [from IPWireless] was more in fitting with what we wanted to do,” says Williams.

IPWireless is attempting to court carriers with its high-speed time-division duplex (TDD) data system, which conforms to universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) standards but -- unlike standard cellular systems -- uses unpaired spectrum, sending and receiving data on one channel rather than two (see IPWireless Flies the TDD Flag and IPWireless Fattens Its Wallet for more detail on the vendor’s offering).

In contrast, Navini Networks is one of a glut of startups now talking up the nascent 802.16 market (see WiMax Gets 'Smart').

Navini is still listed as a partner in a statement on U.K. Broadband’s Website. The same blurb also notes the service provider will in the future “support the emerging WiMax standard for portable wireless broadband.”

Such a move now seems a distant venture. “The IPWireless technology we are using is based on UMTS-TDD and has the same future technology roadmap as 3G,” adds Williams. “It possesses the same qualities as the WiMax standard, ie portable, non-line-of-sight, broadband access. The difference is it is available and up and running today, whereas WiMax seems to be some time away. That is the reason for our decision.”

Navini could not be reached for comment by press time.

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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wimaxfan 12/5/2012 | 12:58:50 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini Dan,

Thanks for stepping in. I would urge you to consider moderating these message boards since they are degrading into personal attacks and rampant smear campaigns designed to discredit the competition.

You can probably guess who these folks are and if you could take some action to curb this, we would appreciate it. I am a fan of your site, but not of this BS.

It really degrades your overall position as a source of great information in the wireless industry.
Astrofan 12/5/2012 | 12:58:52 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini why are airespace and aruba getting all the attention? what happened to the good old days when we all ragged on the other overly hyped companies like Vivato, Trapeze? Anyone know what's up with those companies? Does anyone own a wi-fi base station/switch or whatever they call it? How about BelAir? Is the product as good as the hype, PR etc.?
lrmobile_kanjanie 12/5/2012 | 12:58:52 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini Does it not seem strange all these firings and leavings including the CFO and people still think Aruba is going to be bought. It is more like they are about to implode with a big bang
wlanrunner 12/5/2012 | 12:58:55 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini Just want to point out that this is not the first time such behaviour (multiple personalities of asc) has been observed. I am certain that others are also guilty - but not as blatant and with as much vitriol towards their competitors.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 12:58:56 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini Hi

We have a fairly open policy with these message boards, but I'd appreciate it if people laid off the personal name calling. It's petty and it really doesn't achieve anything.

We've deleted some of the messages in this thread because of it. I'd really rather not kill the entire thread.


Dan Jones
Site Editor
h8_wifi 12/5/2012 | 12:59:02 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini Heard that about Doug Droese too. Also noticed some time ago that John Tavs left Airespace. I think he was VP of software or somesuch.

Guess what? Companies fire people, and people quit. Frankly, seeing a company fire people is encouraging to me, as I've seen lots of startups sink over their own dead weight. It doesn't worry me. What worries me is seeing companies go through 5 rounds of VC funding with no sizable customer list, then lay off the entire engineering team, etc. Neither Aruba nor Airespace is showing signs of being in pain right now, from what I can tell. I personally believe Airespace is being bought by Alcatel, and I believe Cisco or Juniper is trying to buy Aruba.
freetoair 12/5/2012 | 12:59:03 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini Interesting how the topic of "PCCW Drops Navini" turning into a series of Aruba / Airespace Rants.

Monitoring this banter for the past few days I conclude:

1) "h8_wifi" morphed into "WF_TOP_GUY" and is the same poster

2) both companies are struggling to some extend although from this and other indicators - Aruba much more so.

3) seems that there are some insiders here that are doing BOTH companies a dis-service with the banter - so no one is winning this PR campaign

Frankly I find the enterprise .11 switch market kinda ho-hum & boring, as I suspect most customers do.

Perhaps some folks hoped it was the "next really big thing" and are a little dissapointed/frustrated when faced with reality?
lrmobile_wirelessgeek 12/5/2012 | 12:59:06 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini Did Mr. Droese leave Airespace, and why?
lrmobile_wirelessgeek 12/5/2012 | 12:59:11 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini
Word on the street is that the real mastermind behind Airespace marketing has left the company. Word has it that Doug Droese, Marketing Manager has walked out of Airespace. He was put there by the investors to watch over the VP of Marketing and gave up on the guy. Not a very good sign of confidence from a person who is also an investor in the company.

Want more? Then keep rambling on...
WF_TOP_GUY 12/5/2012 | 12:59:12 AM
re: PCCW Drops Navini Keith Hoskinson fired too and he was a Lebeau boy!!! WOW that is the CFO, Walt Foss and now there VP of WW Channels all gone within a 2 month window.

Yes folks this is a solid company!!!

Who is next on the chopping block?

The spiral downward continues!!!!
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