Alvarion ditches cellular business unit, sharpens focus on WiMAX
By Joni Morse
Nov 28, 2006
SAN JOSE, Calif.—The future is all about WiMAX for Alvarion Ltd. now that the wireless broadband solutions developer cut its Cellular Mobile business unit loose for $15 million.

The company sold its CMU business to privately held LGC Wireless Inc., a wireless networking technology firm based in California.

“The transaction will enable us to focus all of our resources and attention on WiMAX,” stated Tzvika Friedman, president and chief executive of Alvarion, which is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Alvarion’s CMU business brought in $21 million in revenues during the first three quarters of this year. In comparison, Alvarion’s Broadband Wireless Access business unit—the company’s only remaining business—is expected to deliver revenues of between $47 million and $51 million for the fourth quarter.

Alvarion’s CMU portfolio includes base stations and core wireless network equipment used primarily by wireless operators, system integrators and government organizations. LGC Wireless’ president and CEO, Ian Sugarbroad, said the acquisition will help LGC Wireless supply carriers and other organizations with reliable cellular coverage with IP and traditional circuit backhaul connectivity.

“This acquisition allows us to serve that market with a highly advanced solution that includes pico base stations and soft switching as well as distributed antenna systems, delivering turnkey, high-performance networks that are right-sized for any venue,” added Sugarbroad.

LGC Wireless said the deal was solidified Nov. 21 and includes the transfer of Alvarion’s CMU technology, patents, manufacturing rights, inventory and equipment. The company named former Kineto Wireless CEO John O’Connell the executive vice president and general manager of its new division and confirmed that LGC Wireless will maintain Alvarion’s office facilities in Mountain View, Calif. and Shenzhen, China. LGC Wireless also said it has already offered jobs to most of the unit’s employees.

O’Connell said LGC is aiming to serve the demand for in-building coverage among carriers by “improving the economics and integration of in-building 3GSM, CDMA, Wi-Fi and future technologies.”

LGC Wireless and Alvarion have worked together in the past, as Alvarion’s CMU was the base station supplier for the fleet-wide shipboard cellular system deployments at Carnival Cruise Lines, which also featured LGC’s distributed antenna systems.
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