Alvarion's Golden Road

Though still a relatively small upstart, Israeli wireless broadband solution provider Alvarion (Nasdaq: ALVR  ) is making itself well-known as a strong contender for a major new platform called WiMAX. With its earnings release yesterday, the company said it's now a part of more than 200 commercial deployments of WiMAX wireless broadband networks.

The strong adoption rate helped the company report a record $60.6 million in revenue for the third quarter, a sequential increase of 5% from the second quarter and 39% above the same period last year. On a GAAP basis, Alvarion reported $621,000 on the bottom line, which translates into $0.01 per share. This total was buffeted by a $750,000 gain from discontinued operations, so the company actually lost a nominal amount.

Alvarion management reiterated its growth goals of 25% to 30% for the balance of the year, and a slightly wider range of 20% to 30% for 2008. The company's confidence in growth comes from a few areas -- its wide and diverse customer base, and continuing momentum in adopting WiMAX solutions. With the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) now endorsing WiMAX as an alternative platform for delivering broadband services, the company expects even more telecom operators to warm up to WiMAX.

Alvarion continues to benefit from a market nurtured by main WiMAX advocate Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) , as well as many other industry heavies now pushing the new technology. But while Cisco's (Nasdaq: CSCO  ) $330 million purchase of privately held WiMAX player Navini gives WiMAX a strong endorsement, it also guarantees stiff competition.

Alvarion CEO Tzvika Friedman indicated that the company is already seeing competition from major infrastructure players such as Motorola (NYSE: MOT  ) , Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU  ) , and Nokia (NYSE: NOK  ) . But while he conceded that Alvarion will not win every deal, the customers it does win tend to stay with the company.

That's a strong endorsement for the solution Alvarion provides. And with many more major WiMAX launches pending, chances are good that Alvarion will nab a significant share of the lucrative contracts around the world.

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