Networking giant Cisco said Tuesday that it has agreed to spend $330m on the acquisition of WiMAX kit maker Navini Networks.

Texas-based Navini develops smart beamforming technologies with MIMO (Multi-Input Multi-Output) antennas, making it a strategic player in the Mobile WiMAX 802.16e space.

The new addition will extend Cisco’s wifi and wifi mesh portfolios to include WiMAX, which Cisco anticipates will also become a key part of its broadband wireless platform targeted at emerging markets.

“Emerging country service providers are in expansion mode, building out broadband wireless networks and are concerned about deployment costs and the availability of skilled resources,” said Brett Galloway, vice president and general manager of the Wireless Networking unit at Cisco.

“Around the world broadband wireless networks based upon WiMAX have the potential to add millions of new internet users who cannot be reached economically using copper or fibre infrastructures. Additionally, WiMAX networks will help drive the transition to open IP-based broadband wireless architectures and accelerate the rollout of new applications and services,” Galloway said.