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Wireless Provider Alvarion Targets Africa

TEL AVIV, Israel — Wireless broadband provider, Alvarion Ltd. has gained traction in the African market with recent deals in Ghana and Madagascar.

Ghana Telecom, that country’s incumbent carrier, has announced that it will be using Alvarion’s eMGW—a point-to-multipoint fixed wireless system—to offer data and voice services to SoHo and residential users. It will also build a broadband wireless network in Accra, Ghana’s capital, to provide broadband data and toll-quality voices services.

Alvarion’s eMGW system supports Internet services, corporate network access and carrier-class telephony in a single system. It includes a "hybrid-switching" architecture that uses both circuit and packet switching to maximize spectrum and equipment utilization.

African broadband provider Gulfsat Madagascar will expand its current network using Alvarion’s OFDM system operating in 3.5 GHz. The company’s strategy is to target residential subscribers with greater coverage and increased capacity. Initially, this network will offer broadband services to residential subscribers in the capital city of Antananarivo.

Wireless executives stressed at last week's 3GSM Congress that they would be targeting emerging markets like Africa for future growth.

Alvarion CEO Tvika Friedman forecasts first quarter sales of between $46 million to $51 million. Girding for growing competition in the mobile WiMAX market, the company expects to have a commercial product by early 2007. It also hopes to leverage its 30 percent market share in fixed WiMAX to be a player in mobile WiMAX.