Canadian firm buys Aviat's WiMax business


Robert Syputa, a Seattle-based wireless broadband industry analyst at Maravdis Inc., said the sale is another indication of consolidation among WiMax equipment makers, which include Ottawa's Redline Communications Group Inc. [TSX: RDL] Alvarion Ltd. of Tel Aviv and Airspan Networks Inc. of Boca Raton, Fla. Most have broadened their product lines to include other IP-based technologies such as LTE.

Competition from Chinese-based wireless equipment makers, such as Huawei Technologies Co., has also pushed down WiMax equipment prices, Syputa added.

He also complained WiMax manufacturers weren't ready with compatible equipment when carriers in the U.S. were buying spectrum in the 700 MHz band to meet the increased data demands of mobile users.

All this doesn't bother Kalaichelvan, although he agreed the future of mobile WiMax (802.16e) isn't bright. But fixed WiMax (802.16d), where signals go from homes and businesses to a service provider's towers, will be around "for many years to come," he predicts.

Kalaichelvan left Nortel Networks in 2001, where he was a vice-president in charge of IP business, to co-found Eion. At first it was a software business, and it still develops embedded network software and sells services.