Cisco plots WiMax takeover

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Cisco plots WiMax takeover
Network giant Cisco has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Texas-based mobile WiMax vendor Navini Networks for US$330m.

WiMax services in the UK are still at the early stages of trials and development, and have a mature ADSL broadband market to compete against.

Cisco's director of mobile service provider marketing, John Hindle, acknowledged that the big opportunity was in emerging markets, where there was little to no wired infrastructure.

"This is a no-brainer. There's been a huge growth in cellular voice which means there's a lot of cell towers being rolled out. Combine this with the very low penetration of broadband [in emerging markets], and the opportunity to hang WiMax kit from cell towers to provide broadband is obvious," Hindle explained.

Hindle said that the WiMax proposition Navini brings is customer premises equipment (CPE)-based technology. “It is not intended as a high-speed cellular-type competitor where people are moving around in cars and connecting to the service," he added.

The acquisition is expected to close before the end of January. Cisco plans to integrate Navini's technology into its Wireless Networking Business Unit, under the Ethernet and Wireless Technology Group.
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