Cisco Systems this week announced its intent pay $330 million to acquire Navini Networks, a wireless broadband access equipment maker that boasts several WiMAX deployments and deployments of pre-standard mobile WiMAX technology.

Based in Richardson, Texas, Navini Networks has a portfolio of “Smart WiMAX” products that feature the integrations of the company’s “Smart Beamforming” technology with Multi-Input Multi-Output (MIMO) antennas--a combination that is a “competitive advantage,” Cisco spokesman John Noh said during an interview with MRT. In addition, Navini has 75 service-provider customers worldwide that have deployed the company’s gear.

“One of the appealing aspects of Navini as an acquisition target was that they have had real-world commercial deployments out there,” Noh said.

Navini’s customers typically have deployed fixed WiMAX (802.16d) networks with migration plans to mobile WiMAX (802.16e) deployments, Noh said. Although the mobile WiMAX standard so far has not been approved, some customers already are operating networks using the pre-standard technology, he said.

Tony Bates, senior vice president/general manager of Cisco’s service provider technology group, said the Navini acquisition fits within Cisco vision for the IP Next Generation Network (NGN).

“With the acquisition of Navini Networks, Cisco is well-positioned to offer complete end-to-end wireless broadband solutions within the IP NGN architecture,” Bates said in a statement. “By providing differentiated revenue-generating services to operators worldwide, Cisco is now particularly well positioned to address the immediate market needs in emerging markets.”

The Navini purchase is the 124th acquisition by Cisco. The deal is expected to close by the end of January, Noh said.