Nokia deal boosts Ceragon; Vertex leads ASOCS fundraising

Shares in Ceragon Networks Ltd. soared on news the Tel Aviv-based company signed an original equipment manufacturer agreement with Nokia to enhance its cellular transmission networking solutions. (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Shares in Ceragon Networks Ltd. soared Monday on news the Tel Aviv-based company signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Finnish mobile communications provider Nokia to enhance its cellular transmission networking solutions. Ceragon stock jumped 13% to close at NIS 20.85 in Tel Aviv, and by 14% to $4.48 in afternoon trade on the Nasdaq. Under the agreement, Nokia will include Ceragon's high-capacity FibeAir product line, including its microwave radio portfolio, in Nokia's new product called PowerHopper Vario. The agreement comes after several years of integration of Ceragon's SDH radio products into Nokia's global transmission solutions. Texas Instruments Inc. signed a definitive agreement to sell its Sensors & Controls business to affiliates of Bain Capital, LLC, a leading global private equity investment firm, for $3 billion in cash. Tel Aviv-based Vertex Venture Capital led an $8 million fundraising round in multimode wireless fab-less startup ASOCS. The investment marks Vertex's first investment from its new fund, for which it has not completed its fundraising. Fujistu of Japan joined it in the financing round. Jerusalem-based ASOCS makes a baseband chip that supports multiple wireless technologies and standards, enabling mobile phones to roam between networks that use different standards. The company said it is recruiting 25 engineers with hands-on experience in WiFi and 3G cellular technologies. Lightspeed Venture Partners, a Menlo Park, California-based provider of seed and early-stage venture capital to technology companies, has raised $475m. for its Lightspeed VII fund, above the firm's target of $40m. The fund's closing brings Lightspeed's total capital under management to $1.3b. The firm said that while the majority of investments will be in US companies, Lightspeed VII also will incorporate active investment programs in Israel and Asia. Tescom Software Systems Testing Ltd., a Tel Aviv-based software quality assurance company, has won a contract with British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSkyB) to become their principal supplier for testing across the UK. The contract will run through to September 2006 whereby the two will work together to augment and enhance its testing services. Tescom said it will provide services that are in alignment with current capability and therefore allowing them more scope for new systems to be developed. Petah Tikva-based Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. has started to deploy a 2,400 site satellite-based VSAT network for Brazilian cosmetics chain O Boticario Comercial Farmaceutica Ltda. The project is the result of an agreement Gilat signed through its subsidiary StarOne, with one of its largest customers Embratel. One thousand sites have already been implemented, with the remaining to be installed by June. As part of a consortium with Embratel, StarOne is responsible for the implementation of a Multi-Service Communication System that will handle the communication needs of retail stores throughout the country.