WiMAX market sees new infrastructure player

The WiMAX infrastructure market is seeing a new entrant even as major vendors distance themselves. Mountain View, Calif.-based PureWave Networks plans to release a line of low-power compact mobile WiMAX base stations.

According to the company, PureWave will introduce a lower-power compact base station line called Quantum powered by an Ethernet connection and contained in a small tower-mounted cabinet. The base station, said the company, is capable of supporting more than 200 users at the same time. Incorporating specially built MIMO beamforming smart antenna technology and a software-defined radio platform, PureWave said its base station has the range equivalent to that of a macrocell while supporting a full load.

The company said it is targeting the base station at operators seeking a primary macro network vendor as well as those augmenting their networks. PureWave launched in 2003 but has been quietly working the last five years on developing WiMAX using some $26 million it has raised from venture capital firms. Gideon Ben-Efraim, founding executive of wireless broadband vendor Netro and wireless networking company Go Networks, serves as company CEO and president.

Meanwhile, Nokia Siemens Networks scrapped its WiMAX version of its Flexi base station, although the company plans to continue to support WiMAX operators as a managed services provider. Instead, NSN will partner with Alvarion to resell its WiMAX BreezeMax portfolio when needed. Alcatel-Lucent announced last year it would scale back its WiMAX R&D and support the technology primarily as a fixed wireless solution.

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