Cisco Gives Up WiMax Business

Cisco Systems has announced that it is pulling shutters on its WiMAX base stations manufacturing business, and said it would instead continue to build Internet Protocol (IP) core and other technologies, such as femtocells.

This comes as a part of the Cisco's increased focus on beefing up its Long Term Evolution (LTE) segment, which recently got a significant boost with the acquisition of Starent Networks.

Cisco ventured into the WiMAX business through a $330 million acquisition of Navini Networks in October 2007, but unable to make the best out of it due to the increased inclination of carriers to the more efficient LTE technology.

FierceBroadbandWireless cited a Cisco spokeswoman as saying, "After careful review, our mobility strategy is to focus on providing a radio-agnostic IP end-to-end mobile multimedia services network. As part of this decision, we have decided to discontinue designing and building new WiMAX base stations."

WiMAX had not gained significant grounds in non-US markets of late, and the users of the technology, including Clearwire, which formed an alliance with Cisco to deliver WiMAX in the US, have found that it is relatively easier to shift from WiMAX to LTE instead.

Meanwhile, Navini had introduced its smart beamforcing technology integrated with MIMO that purportedly improves range and data by targeting signals in a more precise manner. This has won the company several new contracts with the carriers across the world.

Our Comments

The technology was seen as a potential competitor to WiFi but has seen competition from LTE growing significantly. Cisco's decision to abandon WiMax could have a devastating effect on the technology's ecosystem and could be a tipping point.

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