Nokia + Alvarion + Mobile WiMAX

Alvarion announced today that it has agreed to expand their OEM agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks. Nokia Siemens Networks will resell Alvarion’s latest Mobile WiMAX solutions to Nokia Siemens Networks’ current and prospective WiMAX customers. Nokia currently has WiMAX in 14 countries.

Nokia Siemens Networks will resell the Alvarion 4Motion® Mobile WiMAX Solution, including the BreezeMAX base stations, ASN Gateways and 4Motion Element Management System. Nokia’s WiMAX architecture (pdf) supports “open” R6 architecture between ASN Gateways and basestations, as does Alvarion.

Alvarion’s Star Management Suite is designed to manage complete WiMAX network infrastructure, enabling operators to simplify management of IP services such as VoIP and IPTV while enhancing quality of service in a centralized, integrated manner.

The company will also provide deployment, management and maintenance services for the products and leverage its multi-vendor capabilities. Alvarion and Nokia Siemens Networks are already cooperating on WiMAX projects under this expanded agreement. Nokia’s OEM agreement with Alvarion will keep NSN in the WiMAX ball game. And the mobile WiMAX market is likely to be significant, even if LTE eventually dominates broadband wireless, as Nokia believes.

Nokia Siemens Networks originally said they would be a major player in WiMAX, and was one of Clear’s three major suppliers, but has recently largely abandoned their own WiMAX development in favor of LTE. There is clear difference between the WiMAX and LTE in terms business focus. WiMAX is focused on internet access and LTE is focused on voice.

Alvarion’s similar OEM agreement with Nortel Networks ended with Alvarion getting stung on payment, after shipping a ton of equipment to Nortel.

On January 14, 2009, Nortel filed for protection from creditors in order to restructure its debt and financial obligations. At its height, Nortel accounted for more than a third of the total valuation of all the companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Nortel’s market capitalization fell from C$398 billion in September 2000 to less than $5 billion in August 2002, and their stock price plunged from C$124 to $0.47.

This week, Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson said it is in the bidding for Nortel’s mobile network unit. Ericsson reportedly submitted a bid worth $730 million, competing with a $650 million bid from Nokia Siemens Networks for Nortel’s CDMA and LTE wireless technology businesses. RIM had said it was prepared to pay up to $1.1 billion for Nortel’s wireless business and other undisclosed assets, but had been prevented from participating in the auction unless it agreed to refrain from bidding on other Nortel assets. On July 28, a judge at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware will decide on which bidder should get the assets. A similar hearing in Canada is scheduled for July 30.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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