Cisco exit leaves Alvarion more room in WiMAX space

Oscar Gruss analyst Jonathan Kreizman: We do not expect that Cisco's departure from the market will reduce the size of the WiMAX industry.

Two and a half years ago, there was much buzz about WiMAX developer Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR; TASE: ALVR) when Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) decided to enter the market. Rumor had it that Cisco would acquire Alvarion; instead it acquired US rival Navini Networks.

Much has changed since late 2007, and last week, Cisco announced that it was abandoning the WiMAX base stations market. Alvarion is one of the leading companies in the WiMAX equipment field. Cisco's departure should have a positive effect on Alvarion, albeit not a great one.

Oscar Gruss analyst Jonathan Kreizman says that Cisco's move is basically an exit from the WiMAX market. WiMAX's core business is base stations. He adds that the industry is undergoing consolidation, and Cisco's departure follows similar actions by Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE; Euronext: ALU) and Nokia Siemens Networks. He notes that Cisco's share of the WiMAX market was small, and that it will stay in the sector as an integrator of large networks, such as the one that Clearwire Corporation (Nasdaq: CLWR) is building.

Kreizman said, "We do not expect that Cisco's departure from the market will reduce the size of the WiMAX industry, so as a result there will be more meat for the other players. It could be said that this will be a positive, but not very significant, event for the players planning to stay in WiMAX."

Alvarion's share closed at $3.93 on Nasdaq on Friday, giving a market cap of $244 million. The share price rose 1.2% on the TASE today to NIS 14.92.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 7, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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