OYSTER BAY, NY-Cisco Systems has announced that it will acquire Navini Networks for $330 million.

"This provides a way for Cisco to expand its wireless networking solutions from WLAN only to include WMAN and WAAN as well," comments Philip Solis, principal mobile broadband analyst at ABI Research. "4G networks move mobile wireless communications into the data-networking realm, and mobile WiMAX is the first commercialized 4G, or OFDMA, network to do so. As WWAN networking becomes just as important to the enterprise as wired and WLAN networking, this acquisition will enable Cisco to provide more complete solutions in this space, rather than having to form partnerships."

According to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com), this move will not only allow Cisco to expand on its solutions for enterprise customers in developed countries, but also to continue its planned expansion into developing markets. Cisco has been increasing its focus on India, for example. Building wire-line-only networks is not cost effective where communications infrastructure is weak. Mobile WiMAX will allow Cisco to provide communications solutions in a cost-effective manner, while also leveraging mobility.

Solis adds, "Not everything will be completely rosy for Cisco though, as it will be competing head-to-head with companies such as Motorola and Nortel, with decades of experience on the mobile wireless side as well as strong enterprise solutions. And of course, Cisco will be responsible for seeing through the promised upgrades of Navini??s customers from proprietary CDMA-based broadband wireless networks to standardized OFDMA-based mobile WiMAX networks."