After being skeptical of WiMAX for quite sometime, Cisco Systems (CSCO) is changing its tune, and has decided to play the WiMAX game. It is doing so by buying Navini Networks for a whopping $330 million in cash and stock. It was apparently one of the worst-kept secrets out there; the analyst community had been talking about the deal for nearly a fortnight.
Why this change of heart? One could point to United Nations/ITU giving their blessing to WiMAX. WiMAX is becoming quite popular with operators in emerging markets, where little or no prior infrastructure exists. Countries like India, China, Brazil and others are looking to building WiMAX-based wireless broadband networks. Of course, Cisco can’t let rivals like Motorola (MOT) get all the business.
Cisco posted this video on their blog explaining why they bought Navini.