UTStarcom Makes Euro Headway

Best known for its almost daily announcements of contracts in China, UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI) has been quietly building a base camp in Europe following an earlier partnership with IPWireless Inc. in the wireless broadband sector.

In 2002, the company had one person, Bernd Schilp, in the region. Now, as VP of Europe, Schilp heads up a team of 65 with revenues, he says, in the "double digit millions of Euros" derived from a broad mix of carriers in Western and Eastern Europe (see UTStarcom Targets Euro Growth).

Much of that penetration came from the acquisition of CommWorks assets from 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) in May 2003, says Schilp (see 3Com Completes CommWorks Sale). In particular, between 10 and 15 operators, including Spain's Telefònica SA, use the TC1000 multiservice access box inherited from 3Com.

Now the company is becoming more vocal about its deal with startup vendor IPWireless, announced in March this year. UTStarcom has licensed IPWireless's technology and will develop and manufacture fixed wireless base stations to sell to European carriers (see UTStarcom, IPWireless Team).

"We've got about 10 ongoing trials, mostly in Eastern Europe, where the technology is used as an alternative to DSL,” reveals Schlip. “There are a number of operators with wireless local loop licenses that had originally planned line-of-sight deployments, and now we're working with them on non line-of-sight strategies."

Schilp says eastern Germany is a particularly good region to market this technology to because of the difficulties and cost of deploying DSLAMs in existing facilities, and that "we're talking to a number of significant carriers, such as Deutsche Telekom AG and [pan-European service provider] Tele2, that have stakes in a number of East European carriers."

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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