Cisco backs off from WiMAX market

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Cisco backs off from WiMAX market

Alex Scroxton
Cisco has quietly let slip that it is quitting the WiMAX market, which it entered in 2007 with the $330m acquisition of Navini Networks.

In a statement sent to MicroScope, Cisco confirmed it was shutting down production of its WiMAX products, saying: "After careful review of our mobility strategy and investments, we have decided to discontinue designing and building new WiMAX base stations.

"As part of this decision, we are committed to continue with our current service provider mobility strategy to provide a radio-agnostic approach to focus on the packet core and to also focus investment in radio technologies such as Femtocell and Wi-Fi.  We believe the best way for Cisco to serve our customers is by delivering value at the edge and core of our customers' networks."

Cisco's WiMAX strategy came something of a cropper after it became clear that Long Term Evolution (LTE) access technology was becoming more dominant in the 4G mobile market. Major global networks including AT&T, T-Mobile and Vodafone all plan to adopt the technology.

Last autumn
Cisco bought mobility gateway specialist Starent for $2.9bn to take advantage of this shift. Starent provides access-independent kit that works with both WiMAX and LTE, as well as CDMA2000 and UMTS/HSPA.

"They [Cisco] were very bullish about WiMAX at one time but have not said much about it for a couple of years," one industry analyst told MicroScope. "Given that they've since bought Starent it's not a huge surprise to see them retrench."

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