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Airspan rockets in market debut

Airspan Networks (Nasdaq: AIRN), a supplier of wireless communications systems, rose 24 1/8 to 39 1/8, or 161 percent in debut after it priced at $15 per share for trading Thursday.

The British company revised the price range on its shares to $12-$14 per share from $9-$11 a share Wednesday, and increased the size of its deal to 5.5 million shares from 5 million shares, reflecting increased interest in the company.

"The wireless category, and especially infrastructure, has been strong," said Kenan Pollack of IPO Central. "The only caveat," he added, "is that its technology is based on the CDMA transmission standard, and all the international players use GSM."

For the quarter ended April 2, the company had a net loss of $7.7 million on revenue of $5.7 million, as opposed to a loss of $7.1 million on revenue of $1.3 million in 1999. As of April 2, its accumulated deficit was $72.1 million.

Airspan operated as a unit of DSC Communications Corporation beginning in 1994 and did not become an independent company until January 1998.

Net sales are concentrated in fewer than ten customers. In the quarter ended April 2, 2000, three customers, AZ Communications Network Inc., Suntel Private Ltd., and eircom plc, accounted for 82% of our revenue.

Airspan's competitors include ECI (Nasdaq: ECIL) and Lucent (NYSE: LU), as well as smaller start-up companies.

The deal's lead underwriter is Credit Suisse First Boston.
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