Canadian firm buys Aviat's WiMax business


Aviat has commercial customers or trials in Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Thailand, Georgia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Italy and South Africa as well as the U.S.

According to a filing by Aviat with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Eion got the business for a song. It will pay US$390,000 in six months and up to $2.8 million more depending on "specific factors related to future WiMAX business performance" of Eion.

The reason for the bargain price is simple: After a bloody fiscal 2010, in which it lost US$130 million, Aviat management started to shed non-performing units. The first to go was its NetBoss network management business, bought by current and former NetBoss executives.

In March Aviat (until last year called Harris Stratex Networks) decided to get rid of the WiMAX business because of its history of operating losses and lower than anticipated sales volume, the company said in an SEC filing. In the quarter ending April 1, the WiMax business lost US$11.4 million. In nine months the unit lost $US19 million. It got into WiMax by spending US$12 million for troubled Telisma Networks in 2009.

Rather than spend money to improve the WiMAX technology, Aviat preferred to focus resources on growing Aviat's core microwave business.