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Motorola cuts WiMAX sales target by 20%

Financial climate tempers vendor’s sales forecast for fourth generation broadband

Motorola has reduced its sales targets for WiMAX equipment as it braces itself for a slowdown in the roll out of the fourth generation broadband technology.

Motorola has targeted greenfield operations in emerging markets as potential customers for its WiMAX technology, and it has already supplied equipment to start-up operators such as Atheeb in Saudi Arabia and Wateen in Pakistan.

But with a limited supply of credit and many operators looking to reduce capital expenditure Motorola said that it is prepared for a reduced demand for its WiMAX products.

“What we did is we took our annual sales forecast for WiMAX and we toned it down by about 20%-25% in anticipation,” said Fred Wright, senior vice president and general manager of Motorola’s Networks and Wireless division.

At present, WiMAX accounts for 6% of the unit’s total sales, with 50% of sales from GSM equipment, 35% from CDMA and 9% from push-to-talk technology Iden.

US carrier Verizon today became the first network to choose LTE equipment suppliers when it announced that it had partnered with Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent.

And Wright told CommsMEA that Motorola expects to announce its first contract to supply an unnamed operator with fourth generation broadband technology LTE by the middle of 2009.

“It will be later this year, probably by the middle of the year toward the third quarter. We’re working on a solution for one of our major customers,” he said.

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