Nokia Siemens expands OEM agreement with Alvarion, effectively ends WiMAX infrastructure business

Nokia Siemens Networks expanded its OEM agreement with dominant WiMAX vendor Alvarion, effectively ushering in the vendor's exit from the WiMAX infrastructure business.

Earlier this month, the vendor revealed that it was transferring more of its research, development and base station production efforts from WiMAX to HSPA+ and LTE. At the time, the vendor indicated that it wasn't getting out of the WiMAX market and that it still had a strong WiMAX offering.

"While we're no longer developing an in-house product for WiMAX, mobile WiMAX is still a part of our portfolio, and we continue to work with customers interested in WiMAX through a partner or reseller approach, using products from third parties and then offering our suite of services capabilities," an NSN spokesperson told Telephony. The vendor added that it still sees a market for mobile WiMAX in emerging markets.

The vendor plans to end the WiMAX version of its Flexi base station, but plans to continue support for WiMAX operators as a managed services provider. Alvarion has been racking up the mobile WiMAX contracts globally and already supplies NSN with fixed WiMAX equipment. The two are now extending that agreement to include Alvarion's entire line of mobile WiMAX products.

It's becoming increasingly clear that major operators, aside from Sprint and Clearwire, are favoring Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology over WiMAX as their next generation technology of choice. As such, major vendors have been backing off, but not totally exiting the business. It appears Alvarion, Samsung and Motorola are now the stalwarts of the WiMAX infrastructure business.

For more: 
- see Telephony

Related articles:
Nokia Siemens retreats from WiMAX as LTE beckons
Piper Jaffray initiates coverage of Alvarion, spells out cautious market for WiMAX
Alvarion lassos $100M WiMAX deal with Open Range
Alvarion scores WiMAX contract for rural America

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