Thursday, November 3, 2011

DragonWave Opens New Doors with Acquisition of NSN's Microwave Transport Business

DragonWave announced a transformative deal to acquire Nokia Siemens Networks' microwave transport business, including its associated operational support systems (OSS) and related support functions, in a transaction potentially worth up to EUR 110 million.

The deal provides DragonWave with an existing microwave transport business serving many top carriers worldwide, a more extensive product portfolio, an on-going agreement under which its will become the preferred, strategic supplier to Nokia Siemens Networks of packet microwave and related products, and joint R&D work with NSN. The division has sales several times larger than DragonWave, its client base is much larger, and it has more employees (360), mainly based in Milan, Italy and Shanghai, China.

Nokia Siemens Networks would retain responsibility for its existing solution sales and associated services for microwave transport, while DragonWave would be responsible for the product line, including R&D, product management and operations functions.

"This relationship is transformational, giving us the ability to serve customers who want to access an integrated solution. In addition, it provides DragonWave an expanded technology base to address those customers who wish to purchase stand-alone best-in-breed products. Our increased scale, diversity and customer footprint, coupled with significantly enhanced resources and capabilities, will provide a solid foundation for faster innovation and broader market penetration," stated Peter Allen, president & chief executive officer of DragonWave.

For Nokia Siemens Networks, the deal allows it to focus more its core products and services, while slimming the size of the company and getting the benefits of DragonWave's innovations in packet microwave products.

The financial terms of the deal call for DragonWave to pay approximately 10 million euros in cash and 5 million euros worth of DragonWave common shares, assume employee liabilities of approximately 10 million euros, enter into a capital asset lease arrangement for approximately 5 million euros, an potentially pay sales performance based earn-out payments of up to 80 million euros.

  • Last month, DragonWave introduced its "Avenue" backhaul solution for small cell base stations. DragonWave's new product accommodates a wide range of 3G or 4G microcellular RAN access units and leverages an integrated backhaul antenna array supporting up to three simultaneous backhaul beam paths using frequencies ranging from 2 GHz to 80 GHz to deliver 1.2 Gbps of aggregate, full-duplex capacity. Alternatively, the Avenue can be backhauled via fiber or DSL. RAN base stations integrated into the Avenue can be backhauled over distances up to 4 km/2.5 mi. The Avenue's ultra-high capacity enables the support of a wide range of network topologies (self-healing rings, constrained meshes, point-to-point/daisy-chaining or multi-point). DragonWave said it engineered the Avenue to deliver the highest levels of spectral efficiency and reliability for carrier-grade delivery of advanced applications and services.

  • Earlier this year, introduced its Horizon Harmony platform, a packet-based, high-capacity system for transporting converged TDM, ATM, Frame Relay and packet-based Ethernet traffic. This DragonWave platform, which leverages technology from its recent acquisition of Axerra Networks, integrates pseudowire and packet microwave technologies. Horizon Harmony operates in the 6 to 60 GHz frequency range and delivers a number of advanced technologies including: Bandwidth Accelerator, Gigabit Ethernet interfaces in addition to the standard 10/100BaseT interfaces; integrated RF and TDM loopbacks, Hitless Automatic Adaptive Modulation (HAAM); and, advanced Ethernet capabilities such as port-based VLAN tagging/switching and support for advanced Ethernet OAM (operations, administration and management) capability.

    DragonWave also introduced its Horizon Compact+ all-outdoor packet radio. The Horizon Compact+ system incorporates XPIC (Cross Polarization Interference Cancellation) technology and also becomes the first to take advantage of XPIC's spectrum-doubling capability. Building on the capacity increases from DragonWave's previously announced Bandwidth Accelerator technology, this spectrum-doubling capability increases the data bandwidth of Horizon Compact+ to as high as 2 Gbps. Horizon Compact+ operates in licensed or unlicensed spectrum from 6 to 60 GHz.