Company Quick10K Filing
Ceragon Networks
20-F 2019-12-31 Filed 2020-03-31
20-F 2018-12-31 Filed 2019-04-01
20-F 2017-12-31 Filed 2018-03-27
20-F 2016-12-31 Filed 2017-04-07
20-F 2015-12-31 Filed 2016-03-23
20-F 2014-12-31 Filed 2015-04-02
20-F 2013-12-31 Filed 2014-04-30
20-F 2012-12-31 Filed 2013-04-03
20-F 2011-12-31 Filed 2012-04-05
20-F 2010-12-31 Filed 2011-03-31
20-F 2009-12-31 Filed 2010-04-19

CRNT 20F Annual Report

Item 17 ☐ Item 18 ☐
Part I
Item 1. Identity of Directors, Senior Management and Advisers
Item 2. Offer Statistics and Expected Timetable
Item 3. Key Information
Item 4. Information on The Company
Item 4A. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 5. Operating and Financial Review and Prospects
Item 6. Directors, Senior Management and Employees
Item 7. Major Shareholders and Related Party Transactions
Item 8. Financial Information
Item 9. The Offer and Listing
Item 10. Additional Information
Item 11. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.
Item 12. Description of Securities Other Than Equity Securities.
Part II
Item 13. Defaults, Dividend Arrearages and Delinquencies.
Item 14. Material Modifications To The Rights of Security Holders and Use of Proceeds.
Item 15. Controls and Procedures
Item 16. [Reserved]
Item 16A. Audit Committee Financial Expert
Item 16B. Code of Ethics
Item 16C. Principal Accountant Fees and Services
Item 16D. Exemptions From The Listing Standards for Audit Committees
Item 16E. Purchases of Equity Securities By The Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers
Item 16F. Change in Registrant's Certifying Accountant
Item 16G. Corporate Governance
Item 16H. Mine Safety Disclosure
Part III
Item 17. Financial Statements
Item 18. Financial Statements
Item 19. Exhibits
Note 1:- General
Note 2:- Significant Accounting Policies
Note 3:- Other Accounts Receivable and Prepaid Expenses
Note 4:- Inventories
Note 5:- Property and Equipment, Net
Note 6:- Intangible Assets, Net
Note 7:- Other Accounts Payable and Accrued Expenses
Note 8:- Loan and Credit Lines
Note 9:- Derivative Instruments
Note 10:- Pension Liabilities, Net
Note 11:- Commitments and Contingent Liabilities
Note 12:- Shareholders' Equity
Note 13:- Taxes on Income
Note 14:- Segments, Customers and Geographic Information
Note 15:- Selected Statements of Operations Data
Note 16:- Fair Value Measurement
Note 17:- Related Party Balances and Transactions
EX-4.12 exhibit_4-12.htm
EX-4.13 exhibit_4-13.htm
EX-8.1 exhibit_8-1.htm
EX-10.1 exhibit_10-1.htm
EX-12.1 exhibit_12-1.htm
EX-12.2 exhibit_12-2.htm
EX-13.1 exhibit_13-1.htm

Ceragon Networks Earnings 2017-12-31

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

20-F 1 zk1821372.htm 20-F

 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
 
FORM 20-F
 
REGISTRATION STATEMENT PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OR (g) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
OR

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017
 
OR
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

OR

SHELL COMPANY REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

For the transition period from __________ to __________
 
Commission file number 0-30862
_________________________
 
CERAGON NETWORKS LTD.
(Exact Name of Registrant as Specified in Its Charter)
_______________________
 
Israel
(Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)
 
24 Raoul Wallenberg Street, Tel Aviv 69719, Israel
(Address of Principal Executive Offices)
 
Michal Lavee Machlav (+972) 3-543-1284 (tel.), (+972) 3-543-1600 (fax), 24 Raoul Wallenberg Street, Tel Aviv 69719, Israel
(Name, Telephone, E-mail and/or Facsimile Number and Address of Company Contact Person)
________________________
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of Each Class
Ordinary Shares, Par Value NIS 0.01
Name of Exchange of Which Registered
Nasdaq Global Select Market
 
Securities registered or to be registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:  None
 
Securities for which there is a reporting obligation pursuant to Section 15(d) of the Act:  None

 
Indicate the number of outstanding shares of each of the issuer’s classes of capital or common stock as of the close of the period covered by the annual report 78,045,192 Ordinary Shares, NIS 0.01 par value.
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
 
Yes             No 
 
If this report is an annual or transition report, indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant  to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. 
 
Yes             No 
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days:
 
Yes             No  
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (Section 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
 
Yes             No  
 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer. See definition of “accelerated filer and large accelerated filer” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one)
 
Large accelerated filer            Accelerated filer ☑          Non-accelerated filer  
 
Indicate by check mark which basis of accounting the registrant has used to prepare the financial statements included in this filing:
 
U.S. GAAP 
International Financial Reporting Standards as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board 
Other 
 
If “Other” has been checked in response to the previous question, indicate by check mark which financial statement item the registrant has elected to follow: 
 
Item 17     Item 18 
 
If this is an annual report, indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).          
 
Yes            No  
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
Page
PART I
   
1
1
2
24
40
40
53
74
76
77
78
93
93
PART II
   
93
93
93
94
94
95
95
95
95
95
96
97
PART III
   
97
97
97
 
- i -
 
INTRODUCTION
 
Definitions
 
In this annual report, unless the context otherwise requires:
 
·
references to “Ceragon,” the “Company,” “us,” “we” and “our” refer to Ceragon Networks Ltd. (the “Registrant”), an Israeli company, and its consolidated subsidiaries;
 
·
references to “ordinary shares,” “our shares” and similar expressions refer to the Registrant’s Ordinary Shares, NIS 0.01 nominal (par) value per share;
 
·
references to “dollars,” “U.S. dollars” and “$” are to United States Dollars;
 
·
references to “shekels” and “NIS” are to New Israeli Shekels, the Israeli currency;
 
·
references to the “Companies Law” are to Israel’s Companies Law, 5759-1999;
 
·
references to the “SEC” are to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission; and
 
·
references to the "Nasdaq Rules" are to rules of the Nasdaq Global Select Market.
 
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
 
This annual report includes certain statements that are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, “forward-looking statements” for the purposes of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  We have based these forward-looking statements on our current expectations and projections about future events.
 
Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “continue,” “believe” or other similar expressions, but are not the only way these statements are identified.  These statements discuss future expectations, plans and events, contain projections of results of operations or of financial condition or state other “forward-looking” information.  When a forward-looking statement includes an underlying assumption, we caution that, while we believe the assumption to be reasonable and make it in good faith, assumed facts almost always vary from actual results, and the difference between a forward-looking statement and actual results can be material.  Forward-looking statements may be found in Item 4. “INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY” and Item 5. “OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS” and in this annual report generally. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements as a result of various factors, including all the risks discussed in “Risk Factors” and other cautionary statements in this annual report.  All of our forward-looking statements are qualified by and should be read in conjunction with those disclosures. Except as may be required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.  In light of these risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, the forward-looking events discussed in this annual report might not occur.
 
PART I
 
ITEM 1.          IDENTITY OF DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND ADVISERS
 
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 2.          OFFER STATISTICS AND EXPECTED TIMETABLE
 
Not applicable.
 
1

ITEM 3.          KEY INFORMATION
 
Selected Consolidated Financial Data
 
The selected financial data set forth in the table below have been derived from our audited historical financial statements for each of the years from 2013 to 2017. The selected consolidated statement of operations data for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017, and the selected consolidated balance sheet data at December 31, 2016 and 2017, have been derived from our audited consolidated financial statements set forth in Item 18. “FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.” The selected consolidated statement of operations data for the years 2013 and 2014 and the selected consolidated balance sheet data at December 31, 2013, 2014 and 2015, have been derived from our previously published audited consolidated financial statements, which are not included in this annual report. This selected financial data should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and are qualified entirely by reference to such consolidated financial statements. We prepare our consolidated financial statements in U.S. dollars and in accordance with United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“U.S. GAAP”). You should read the consolidated financial data with the section of this annual report entitled Item 5. “OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS” and our consolidated financial statements and the notes to those financial statements included elsewhere in this annual report.
 
   
Year ended December 31,
 
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:
 
2013
   
2014
   
2015
   
2016
   
2017
 
   
(In thousands of dollars, except share and per share data)
 
                               
Revenues          
   
361,772
     
371,112
     
349,435
     
293,641
     
332,033
 
Cost of revenues          
   
249,543
     
286,670
     
246,487
     
194,479
     
224,698
 
Gross profit          
   
112,229
     
84,442
     
102,948
     
99,162
     
107,335
 
                                         
Operating expenses:
                                       
Research and development
   
42,962
     
35,004
     
22,930
     
21,695
     
25,703
 
Selling and marketing          
   
67,743
     
56,059
     
40,816
     
39,515
     
41,656
 
General and administrative.
   
26,757
     
23,657
     
21,235
     
20,380
     
18,576
 
Restructuring costs          
   
9,345
     
6,816
     
1,225
     
-
     
-
 
Goodwill impairment          
   
-
     
14,765
     
-
     
-
     
-
 
Other income          
   
(7,657
)
   
(19,827
)
   
(4,849
)
   
(1,921
)
   
(1,746
)
Total operating expenses          
   
139,150
     
116,474
     
81,357
     
79,669
     
84,189
 
                                         
Operating income (loss)          
   
(26,921
)
   
(32,032
)
   
21,591
     
19,493
     
23,146
 
Financial expenses, net          
   
(14,018
)
   
(37,946
)
   
(14,738
)
   
(6,303
)
   
(5,889
)
Income (loss) before taxes.          
   
(40,939
)
   
(69,978
)
   
6,853
     
13,190
     
17,257
 
Tax on income          
   
(6,539
)
   
(6,501
)
   
(5,842
)
   
(1,761
)
   
(1,697
)
Net income (loss)          
   
(47,478
)
   
(76,479
)
   
1,011
     
11,429
     
15,560
 
                                         
Basic net earnings (loss) per share
 
$
(1.23
)
 
$
(1.22
)
 
$
0.01
   
$
0.15
   
$
0.20
 
Diluted net earnings (loss) per share
 
$
(1.23
)
 
$
(1.22
)
 
$
0.01
   
$
0.15
   
$
0.19
 
                                         
Weighted average number of shares used in computing basic earnings (loss) per share          
   
38,519,606
     
62,518,602
     
77,239,409
     
77,702,788
     
77,916,912
 
Weighted average number of shares used in computing diluted earnings (loss) per share          
   
38,519,606
     
62,518,602
     
77,296,681
     
78,613,528
     
79,942,353
 

 
2

 
   
Year ended December 31,
 
   
2013
   
2014
   
2015
   
2016
   
2017
 
   
(In thousands of dollars)
 
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
                       
Cash and cash equivalents bank deposits, short and long term marketable securities
   
52,337
     
42,371
     
36,318
     
36,338
     
26,873
 
Working capital          
   
106,765
     
87,748
     
81,957
     
95,950
     
105,362
 
Total assets          
   
365,971
     
341,873
     
267,249
     
244,225
     
253,593
 
Total long term liabilities          
   
52,498
     
31,822
     
19,915
     
17,555
     
14,245
 
Shareholders’ equity          
   
135,078
     
104,552
     
102,821
     
116,164
     
133,898
 
 
Risk Factors
 
The following risk factors, among others, could affect our business, results of operations or financial condition and cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements made by us. These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and we assume no obligation to update this information. You should carefully consider the risks described below, in addition to the other information contained elsewhere in this annual report. The following risk factors are not the only risk factors that the Company faces, and as such, additional unknown risks and uncertainties that we currently deem immaterial may also affect our business. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be seriously harmed if any of the events underlying any of these risks or uncertainties actually occur. In such an event, the market price for our ordinary shares could decline.
 
Risks Relating to Our Business
 
A significant portion of our business concentrates in certain regions and more considerably in India, where two customers represent a significant portion of our revenues. Such concentration may negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, should the amount of business coming from these regions and more specifically from these two customers, decrease or cease.

In 2017, approximately 37.9% of our total revenues came from two customers in India. In 2015 and 2016, approximately 21.2% and 24.2%, respectively, of our total revenues came from these two customers in India.  Our sales are mostly generated from standard purchase orders rather than long-term contracts. Accordingly, these large customers are not obligated to purchase from us a fixed amount of products or services over any period of time from us, and may terminate or reduce their purchases from us at any time without notice or penalty. We therefore have difficulty projecting future revenues from these customers. The loss of these customers or any material reduction in orders from them, in the absence of gaining new significant customers replacing them, could adversely affect different aspects of our results of operations, including cash flow and financial condition. In addition, the difficulty to project future revenues from these customers, could have, and had in the past, an adverse effect on our reported revenues, profitability and cash flow.

3

Furthermore, concentration of business in specific geographic regions entails risks in case certain events occur in these regions,  such as a slowdown in investments and expansion of communication networks due to the cyclical characteristic of the investment in this industry, as well as changes in local legislation, changes in governmental controls and regulations (including those specifically related to the communication industry), changes in tariffs and taxes, trade restrictions, a downturn in economic or financial conditions, an outbreak of hostilities, political or economic instability, as well as any other extraordinary events having an adverse effect on the economy or business environment in this region, which will harm the operations of our customers in these regions, and result in a significant decline of business coming from that region. We have experienced the realization of some of these risks in India as well as in Africa and in Latin America in previous years, and further realization of any of these or other risks could result in a material reduction in orders and could adversely affect our results of operations, including cash flow, and our financial condition.

We sell a single family of products and have been focusing on the “best-of-breed” segment of the wireless backhaul market, which we believe has the most profit potential. Selling a single family of products and focusing on one segment of the market, may result in sensitivity to the changes in demand for this segment. If this segment of the market will experience decline in demand it may negatively affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
 We mainly attribute our improvement in profitability to the continued implementation of our business strategy, a key element of which is the focus on the best-of-breed segment of the wireless backhaul market. However, while focusing on this one market segment led in 2017 to a growth in sales, primarily in India, in 2016 and 2015 it led to a decline in sales.  Hence, if this segment of the market would enter into a negative cycle, or our share in it shrinks, our sales and revenues may decline and our results of operations and cash flow may be significantly and adversely affected. In such a case, we may need to take cost reduction measures, which may adversely impact our R&D, operations, marketing and sales activities and our ability to effectively compete in the market.
 
Moreover, we develop and sell one platform of point-to-point wireless backhaul products into this best-of-breed market. As a result, we are more likely to be adversely affected by a reduction in demand for point-to-point wireless backhaul products in comparison to companies that also sell multiple and diversified product lines and solutions to customers. If technologies or market conditions change, resulting in a decreased demand for our specific technology, we could likely have a material adverse effect on our business, financial results and financial condition as we attempt to address these issues.

We face intense competition from other wireless backhaul equipment providers. If we fail to compete effectively, our business, financial condition and result of operations would be materially adversely affected.

The market for wireless backhaul equipment is rapidly evolving, highly competitive and subject to rapid changes.

Our primary competitors include companies such as Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., L.M. Ericsson Telephone Company, NEC Corporation, Nokia and ZTE Corporation, commonly referred to as “generalists”, each providing a vast wireless solutions portfolio, which includes a wireless backhaul solution within their portfolio. These generalists may also compete with us on best-of-breed projects, in which operators invest resources and efforts to select the best wireless backhaul solution. In addition to these primary competitors, a number of smaller microwave communications equipment suppliers, including Aviat Networks Inc. and SIAE Microelectronica S.p.A., offer, or are developing, competing products.

In addition, the industry generalists are substantially larger than us, have longer operating histories and possess greater financial, sales, service, marketing, distribution, technical, manufacturing and other resources.  These generalists have greater name recognition, a larger customer base and may be able to respond more quickly to changes in customer requirements and evolving industry standards. Many of these generalists also have well-established relationships with our current and potential customers and have extensive knowledge of our target markets, which may possibly give them additional competitive advantages. In addition, as these generalists focus more on selling services and bundling the entire network as a full-package offering, some of our customers, which seek best-of-breed solutions like ours, may prefer to purchase “bundled” solutions from the generalists. Moreover, as these generalists are usually financially stronger than us, they may be able to offer customers more attractive pricing and payment terms, which may increase the appeal of their products in comparison to ours.

4

Furthermore, the market for wireless backhaul equipment is expected to go through significant consolidation; current and potential competitors may make strategic moves such as mergers, acquisitions or establishing cooperative relationships among themselves or with third parties that may allow them to increase their market share and competitive position.

We expect to face increasing competitive pressures in the future. If we are unable to compete effectively, our business, financial condition and results of operations would be materially adversely affected. For more information on the best-of-breed market, please refer to Item 4: INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY; B. Business Overview – “Wireless Backhaul; Short-haul, Long-haul and Small Cells Backhaul.

It is difficult to predict our gross margin as it is exposed to significant fluctuations as a result of potential changes in the geographical mix of our revenues.

            Our revenues are derived from multiple regions, each of which may consist of a number of countries. Gross margin percentages may vary significantly between different regions and even among different countries within the same region. A significant change in the actual ratio of our revenues among the different regions/countries, whereby the actual ratio of revenues from a higher gross margin region/country exceeds our expectations, may cause our gross margin to significantly increase, while in case the actual ratio of revenues from a lower gross-margin region/country exceeds our expectations, our gross-margin may significantly decrease.

Our operating results may vary significantly from quarter to quarter and from our expectations for any specific period.

Our quarterly results are difficult to predict and may vary significantly from quarter to quarter, or from our expectations and guidance for any specific period. Most importantly, delays in product delivery or completion of related services can cause our revenues, net income and operating cash flow to deviate significantly from anticipated levels, especially as a large portion of our revenues are traditionally generated towards the end of each quarter.  Factors such as geographical mix, delivery terms and timeline(s), product mix, related services mix and other deal terms may differ significantly from our expectations, and thus impact our revenue recognition timing, gross margins, costs and expenses, as well as cash flow from operations. In addition, the spending decisions of our customers throughout the year may also create unpredictable fluctuations in the timing in which we receive orders and can recognize revenues, which may impact our quarterly results. Such unpredictable fluctuations could be material in cases where these spending decisions are made by our largest customers or regarding significant deals. In addition, the quarterly variation of our operating results may in turn create volatility in the market price for our shares.

We experience high-volatility in the supply needs of our customers, which from time to time lead to delivery pressures. If we fail to effectively cope with such volatility and growing supply demands of our customers, we may be unable to timely fulfill our customer commitments, which would adversely affect our business and results of operations.

The delivery requirements of our customers are unevenly spread throughout the year. In addition, we offer our customers a wide variety of products and configurations, and our inability to forecast the quantities or mix of the delivery demands for our products may result in underestimating our material purchasing needs, as well as production capacity requirements.  If we fail to effectively manage our deliveries to the customers in a timely manner, or otherwise fulfill our contractual obligations to them - for example if we are unable to synchronize our supply chain and production process in cases of rapidly increasing production needs - the cost of our material purchasing, manufacturing and logistics may increase and we may also be obligated to pay penalties to our customers for delays, all of which would adversely affect our business, financial results and our relationship with our customers.

5

Relying on third-party manufacturers, suppliers and service providers may disrupt the proper and timely management of deliveries of our products, a risk that is intensified in case of a single source supplier.

We outsource our manufacturing and the majority of our logistics operations, and purchase ancillary equipment for our products from contract and other independent manufacturers. Disruption in deliveries or in operations of these and other third-party suppliers or service providers, for example – as a result of capacity constraints, production disruptions, price increases, force majeure events, decreased availability of raw materials or commodities, as well as quality control problems related to components - may all cause such third parties not to comply with their contractual obligations to us. This could have an adverse effect on our ability to meet our commitments to customers and could increase our operating costs.

Although we believe that our contract manufacturers and logistics service providers have sufficient economic incentive to perform our manufacturing and logistics services requirements, the resources devoted to these activities are not within our control. We cannot assure you that manufacturing or logistics problems will not occur in the future due to insufficient resources devoted to our requirements by such manufacturers and logistics service providers.  

These delays, disruptions, quality control problems, loss in capacity and problems in logistics processes could result in delays in deliveries of our products to our customers, which could subject us to penalties payable to our customers, increased warranty costs as well as shipment expenses in case of expedited deliveries, possible cancellation of orders, as well as damage our reputation. If any of these problems occur, we may be required to seek alternate manufacturers or logistics service providers and we may not be able to secure such alternate manufacturers or logistics service providers that meet our needs and standards in a timely and cost-effective manner. The above-mentioned risks are exacerbated in the case of raw materials or component parts that are purchased from a single-source supplier.

Our contract manufacturers obtain some of the components included in our products from a limited group of suppliers and, in some cases, single or sole source suppliers. The loss of or problems in any of these suppliers could cause us to experience production and shipment delays as well as additional costs, which may result in a substantial cost increase or loss of revenue.

Our contract manufacturers currently obtain key components from a limited number of suppliers. Some of these components are obtained from a single or sole source supplier. Our contract manufacturers’ dependence on a single or sole source supplier, or on a limited number of suppliers, subjects us to the following risks:
 
     ·
 
The component suppliers may experience shortages in components and interrupt or delay their shipments to our contract manufacturers. Consequently, these shortages could delay the manufacture of our products and shipments to our customers, which could result in increased manufacturing and shipment costs, penalties or cancellation of orders for our products.
     ·
 
The component suppliers could discontinue the manufacture or supply of components used in our systems. In such an event, our contract manufacturers or we may be unable to develop alternative sources for the components necessary to manufacture our products, which could force us to redesign our products or buy a large stock of the component into inventory before it is discontinued. Any such redesign of our products would likely interrupt the manufacturing process and could cause delays in our product shipments. Moreover, a significant modification in our product design may increase our manufacturing costs and bring about lower gross margins. In addition, we may be exposed to excess inventory of such component, which we will have to write-down in case the demand is not as high as we have anticipated at the time of buying this stock.
     ·
 
The component suppliers may significantly increase component prices at any time and with immediate effect, particularly if demand for certain components increases dramatically in the global market. These price increases would increase component procurement costs and could significantly reduce our gross margins and profitability.
6

Merger and Acquisition activities expose us to risks and liabilities, which could also result in integration problems and adversely affect our business.

We continue to explore potential merger and acquisition opportunities within our wireless backhaul market or as a diversification effort in order to implement a growth strategy. However, we are unable to predict whether or when any prospective acquisitions will be completed. The process of integrating an acquired business may be prolonged due to unforeseen difficulties and may require a disproportionate amount of our resources and management’s attention. 

In addition, we also explore potential merger and acquisition opportunities aimed at obtaining technological improvement of our products or diversifying our business to achieve business growth and adding new technologies to our products. These mergers could prove to be unsuccessful, if the new market we were aiming for does not materialize, if we fail to effectively obtain the technological improvement we have anticipated, or if we are unable to integrate the acquired technology into our products.

As a result, the anticipated benefits and cost savings of such mergers and acquisitions or other restructuring may not be fully realized, or at all, or may take longer to realize than expected. Acquisitions involve numerous risks, any of which could harm our business, results of operations cash flow and financial condition as well as the price of our ordinary shares.

Our international operations expose us to the risk of fluctuations in currency exchange rates and restrictions related to foreign currency exchange controls.

Although we derive a significant portion of our revenues in U.S. dollars, a portion of our U.S. dollar revenues are derived from customers operating in local currencies other than the U.S. dollar. Therefore, devaluation in the local currencies of our customers relative to the U.S. dollar could cause our customers to cancel or decrease orders or to delay payment, which could have a negative impact on our revenues and results of operations.  We are also subject to other foreign currency risks including repatriation restrictions in certain countries, particularly in Latin America and in Africa. See also the risk of “Due to the volume of our sales in emerging markets, we are susceptible to a number of political, economic and regulatory risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.” 

A substantial portion of our operating expenses are denominated in New Israeli Shekels (“NIS”), and to a lesser extent, other non-U.S. dollar currencies. Our NIS-denominated expenses consist principally of salaries and related costs as well as other related personnel expenses. In addition, our lease and facility related expenses and certain engagements with other Israeli vendors are denominated in NIS as well.  We anticipate that a portion of our expenses will continue to be denominated in NIS. In 2017, the NIS continued to fluctuate in comparison to the U.S. dollar, and appreciated by 6.5% against the U.S. dollar (on an annual average compared to annual average basis).  If the U.S. dollar will continue to devaluate against the NIS, there will be a negative impact on our results of operations.

In some cases, we are paid or maintain monetary assets and liabilities, or cash reserves in certain countries, in non-U.S. dollar currencies. Significant fluctuation in these non-U.S. dollar currencies could have a significant adverse effect on our results of operation, and especially in cases where conversion to U.S. dollars and repatriation of such cash reserves is restricted or impossible, our cash balances may be significantly devaluated and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition. During the first quarter of 2018, the Venezuelan Bolivar suffered from a major devaluation of approximately 1,200% relative to the US dollar. As a result, we expect to record approximately $0.6 million of forex expenses in the first quarter of 2018, primarily related to the erosion of our cash balances in Venezuela.

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We use derivative financial instruments, such as foreign exchange forward contracts, to mitigate the risk of changes in foreign exchange rates on our balance sheet accounts and forecast cash flows. We do not use derivative financial instruments or other “hedging” techniques to cover all our potential exposure and may not purchase derivative instruments that adequately insulate us from foreign currency exchange risks. In some countries, we are unable to use “hedging” techniques to mitigate our risks because hedging options are not available for certain government restricted currencies. Moreover, derivative instruments are usually limited in time and as a result, cannot mitigate currency risks for the longer term. During 2017, we incurred losses in the amount of $1.2 million as a result of exchange rate fluctuations that have not been fully offset by our hedging policy. The volatility in the foreign currency markets may make it challenging to hedge our foreign currency exposures effectively.

Moreover, some of our competitors can benefit from currency fluctuations as their costs and expenses are primarily denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. In case the U.S. dollar strengthens against these currencies these competitors might offer their products and services for a lower price and capture market share from us, which might adversely affect our business and negatively influence our results of operation and financial condition.

Additional tax liabilities could materially adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.

As a global corporation, we are subject to income and other taxes both in Israel and in various foreign jurisdictions. Our domestic and international tax liabilities are subject to the allocation of revenues and expenses in different jurisdictions and the timing of recognizing revenues and expenses. Our tax expense includes estimates or additional tax, which may be incurred for tax exposures and reflects various estimates and assumptions, including assessments of our future earnings that could impact the valuation of our deferred tax assets.  From time to time, we are subject to income and other tax audits, the timings of which are unpredictable. Our future results of operations could be adversely affected by changes in our effective tax rate as a result of a change in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in our overall profitability, changes in tax legislation and rates, changes in tax treaties, changes in international tax guidelines (such as the OECD Base Erosions and Profit Shifting project – known as BEPS), changes in generally accepted accounting principles, changes in the valuation of deferred tax assets and liabilities, the results of audits and examinations of previously filed tax returns and continuing assessments of our tax exposures.  While we believe we comply with applicable tax laws, there can be no assurance that a governing tax authority will not have a different interpretation of the law and impose additional taxes. Should we be assessed with additional taxes, there could be a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Our business activities in multiple countries may also expose us to indirect as well as withholding taxes in those countries. Our inability to meet certain tax regulations related to indirect or withholding taxes as well as different interpretations applied by the governing tax authorities to those regulations may expose us to additional tax payments and penalties. These would have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.

Due to the volume of our sales in emerging markets, we are susceptible to a number of political, economic and regulatory risks that could have a material adverse effect on our business, reputation, financial condition and results of operations.

A majority of our sales is made in emerging economies in Latin America, India, Asia Pacific and Africa. For each of the years ended December 31, 2017 and 2016, sales in these regions accounted for approximately 74% and 71% of our revenues, respectively. As a result, the occurrence of international, political, regulatory or economic events in these regions could adversely affect our business and result in significant revenue shortfalls and collection risk. Any such revenue shortfalls and/or collection risks could have material adverse effects on our business, financial condition and results of operations. For example, in the past few years, due to a shortage of foreign currency, the Central Bank of Nigeria put in place a number of currency controls aimed at reducing the flow of foreign currency in Nigeria and out of the country. These restrictions make it hard for our customers in Nigeria to pay for equipment purchases, in U.S. dollars. In some cases, payment for imported goods is made in Nigerian Naira, which exposes us to significant currency fluctuations.

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Below are some of the risks and challenges that we face as a result of doing business internationally, several of which are more likely in the emerging markets than in other countries:
 
·
unexpected changes in or enforcement of regulatory requirements, including security regulations relating to international terrorism and hacking concerns and regulations related to licensing and allocation processes;

·
unexpected changes in or imposition of tax or customs levies, including as a result of actions threatened or taken by the Trump Administration in the United States;

·
fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates;

·
restrictions on currency and cash repatriation;

·
imposition of tariffs and other barriers and restrictions;

·
burden of complying with a variety of foreign laws, including foreign import restrictions which may be applicable to our products;

·
difficulties in protecting intellectual property;

·
laws and business practices favoring local competitors;

·
demand for high-volume purchases with discounted prices;

·
collection delays and uncertainties;

·
civil unrest, war and acts of terrorism;

·
requirements to do business in local currency; and

·
requirements to manufacture or purchase locally.
 
Business practices in emerging markets may expose us to legal and business conduct-related regulatory risks.

Local business practices in jurisdictions in which we operate, and particularly in emerging markets, may be inconsistent with international regulatory requirements, such as anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws and regulations, to which we are subject. It is possible that, notwithstanding our policies and in violation of our instructions, some of our employees, subcontractors, agents or partners may violate such legal and regulatory requirements, which may expose us to criminal or civil enforcement actions. If we fail to comply with such legal and regulatory requirements, our business and reputation may be harmed.

A decrease in the industry or reduction in our customers’ revenues from increased regulation or new mobile services may cause operators’ investments in networks to slow, be delayed or stop, which could harm our business.

We are exposed to changing network models that affect operator spending on infrastructure as well as trends in investment cycles of telecom operators and other service providers. The changes include: 1) further expansion of coverage; expansion out of metro, as well as other urban and suburban areas to rural areas; 2) densification and optimization of the 4G network, within the evolution of the LTE standard from relatively low speed single carrier LTE to high speed multiple carrier LTE (LTE-A), to Gigabit 4G LTE (LTE-A-Pro). Network densification and optimization investments that are designed to provide both additional network capacity and higher speeds for a better user experience to the subscriber; 3) early introduction of 5G services; and 4) 2G networks shutdown, which is expected to take place within the next several years and designed to free spectrum for the delivery of additional 4G Gigabit LTE and 5G services.

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The proliferation of strategic options for service providers, as outlined above, may cause service providers to prolong evaluations of services and network strategies, resulting in slower and smaller budget spent in the next several years, which may negatively affect our business. In addition, the intensification of use of “over-the-top services” - which make use of the operators’ network to deliver rich content to users but do not generate revenue to operators - is causing operators to lose a substantial portion of their potential revenues. In addition, recent changes to USA policy against net neutrality and the potential adoption of such policy in other countries may negatively affect operators’ revenue streams and result in a decrease in network investments. In addition, changes in regulatory requirements in certain jurisdictions around the world are allowing smaller operators to enter the market, which may also reduce our customers’ pricing to their end-users, further causing them to lose revenues.  This has made operators more careful in their spending on infrastructure upgrades and build-outs. 

As a result, operators are looking for more cost-efficient solutions and network architectures, which will allow them to break the linearity of cost, coverage, capacity and costs of service delivery through more efficient use of existing infrastructure and assets. If operators fail to monetize new services, fail to introduce new business models or experience a decline in operator revenues or profitability, their willingness to invest further in their network systems may decrease, which will reduce their demand for our products and services and may have an adverse effect on our business, operating results and financial condition.

Global competition and current market conditions, including those specifically impacting the telecommunications industry, have resulted in downward pressure on the prices for our products, which could result in reduced revenues, gross margins, profitability and demand for our products and services.

We and other manufacturers of telecommunications equipment are experiencing, and are likely to continue to experience, increased downward price pressure, particularly as we increase our customer base to include more Tier 1 customers (customers who are telecom operators with national or multinational service coverage that can reach every other network without purchasing network resources from other network communication providers) and continue to meet market demand in certain emerging markets and other less profitable countries. As a result, we may experience declining average sales prices for our products. Our future profitability will depend upon our ability to improve manufacturing efficiencies, to reduce costs of materials used in our products, and to continue to ‘design to cost’, i.e., introduce new lower-cost products and product enhancements. Since customers frequently negotiate supply arrangements far in advance of delivery dates, we may be required to commit to price reductions for our products before we are aware of how, or if, cost reductions can be obtained. Current or future price reduction commitments and any inability on our part to respond to increased price competition, in particular from Tier 1 customers with higher volumes and stronger negotiating power, could harm our profitability, business, financial condition and results of operations. Alternatively, if we decide not to pursue some of the deals, our revenues might significantly decrease and harm our business and financial results.

In recent years, we have increased our sales in India, a region typically characterized as being price-sensitive, resulting in pressure on our prices. In 2017, 39.2% of our revenues were earned in India, while in prior years – 2016, 2015 and 2014 – 27.3%, 30.3% and 24.8%, of our revenues, respectively, were generated from sales in India. We expect that our revenues from sale of products in India will continue to constitute a significant portion of our business in the future. In addition, we anticipate continued demand for our products and/or services in Latin America, a market which is also characterized by strong downward pricing pressures.

Challenging global economic conditions could also have adverse, wide-ranging effects on demand for our products and services, as well as for the products of our customers, which could result in reduced revenues, gross margins and profitability.

 The telecommunications industry has experienced downturns in the past, in which operators substantially reduced their capital spending on new equipment. Continued adverse economic conditions, which currently exist in certain jurisdictions, including certain countries in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa, could cause network operators to postpone investments or initiate other cost-cutting initiatives to improve their financial position.  Over the past several years, network operators have started to share parts of their network infrastructure through cooperation agreements rather than through legal consolidation, which may adversely affect demand for lower cost network equipment. Moreover, the level of demand by operators and other customers who buy our products and services can change quickly and can vary over short periods, including on a monthly basis.

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If the current global economic situation deteriorates, or if the uncertainty and variations in the telecommunications industry continues, our business could be negatively impacted. For example, we could experience reduced demand for our products and services, slowed customer buying decisions, pricing pressures, possible withdrawal of global operators from some geographies in which they currently operate and in which we sell and supplier or customer disruptions. Furthermore, insolvency of some of our key distributors, resellers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and systems integrators, could impair our distribution channels. Any of these contingencies could reduce our revenues or our ability to collect our accounts receivable, and have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations.

If we fail to develop and market new products that keep pace with technological developments, the changing industry standards and our customers’ needs, we may not be able to grow or sustain our business.

The market for our products is characterized by rapid technological advances, changing customer needs and evolving industry standards, as well as increasing pressures to make existing products more cost efficient. Accordingly, our success will depend, among other things, on our ability to develop and market new products or enhance our existing products in a timely manner to keep pace with developments in technology and customer requirements.

In addition, the wireless equipment industry is subject to rapid change in technological and industry standards. This rapid change, through official standards committees or widespread use by operators, could either render our products obsolete or require us to modify our products, necessitating significant investment, both in time and cost, in new technologies, products and solutions. We cannot assure you that we will bring products into full production with acceptable reliability, or that any development or production ramp-up will be completed in a timely or cost-effective manner. 

We cannot assure you that we will continue to successfully forecast technology trends nor that we will continue to anticipate innovations made by other companies and respond with innovation in a timely manner, which could affect our competitiveness in the market.

Our market is also characterized by a growing demand for more sophisticated and rich software-based capabilities within the network IP layer, some which may require us to utilize and embed additional components, either in hardware or third-party software, in solutions we provide. We therefore cannot assure you that we will continue to be successful in providing these necessary software based capabilities in a cost-effective manner, which could affect our business performance.

We are continuously seeking to develop new products and enhance our existing products. In late 2013 we announced a significant new line of products (IP-20 Platform), which we have continued to enhance with newer products and capabilities every year since. Developing new products and product enhancements requires research and development resources. We may not be successful in enhancing our existing products or developing new products in response to technological advances or in satisfying increasingly sophisticated customer needs in a timely and cost-effective manner, all of which would have a material adverse effect on our ability to grow or maintain our business.  Moreover, we cannot assure that new products being developed based on the IP-20 Platform will be accepted in the market or will result in profitable sales or that such products will not require additional quality assurance and defect-fixing processes.

We may encounter technical difficulties as we introduce new products or new versions of existing products into the market, which could impair our ability to fulfill our commitments to our customers in a timely manner and negatively impact our business and results of operations.

In our competitive market, we launch new versions of existing products and new products from time to time. New products and new versions of existing products are more prone to technical problems which, may, among other things, adversely affect our ramping up ability and our ability to meet delivery commitments to our customers in a timely manner, and may cause us to incur additional manufacturing, development and repair costs. This may have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operation.

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Breaches of network or information technology security could have an adverse effect on our business.

Cyber-attacks or other breaches of network or IT security may cause equipment failures or disrupt our systems and operations. We may be subject to attempts to breach the security of our networks and IT infrastructure through cyber-attacks, malware, computer viruses and other means of unauthorized access. While we maintain insurance coverage for some of these events, the potential liabilities associated with these events could exceed the insurance coverage we maintain. While we maintain redundancy and disaster recovery practices for our critical services, we cannot assure you that our cyber-security measures and technology will adequately protect us from these and other risks. Furthermore, our inability to operate our facilities as a result of such events, even for a limited period of time, may result in significant expenses or loss of market share to our competitors. In addition, a failure to protect the privacy of customer or employee confidential data against breaches of network or IT security could result in damage to our reputation.

Maintaining the security of our products, computers and networks is a critical issue for us and our customers, therefore each year we invest additional resources and technologies to better protect our assets. We believe that employee awareness is one of the best defensive tools, and thus we continue to implement best practices in this area.  In 2018 we will continue to increase the time spent by our Chief Information Security Officer and its teams in preventing cyber security attacks while being focused on cloud-based solutions. However, security researchers, criminal hackers and other third parties regularly develop new techniques to penetrate computer and network security measures. In addition, hackers also develop and deploy viruses, worms and other malicious software programs, some of which may be specifically designed to attack our products, systems, computers or networks. Additionally, external parties may attempt to fraudulently induce our employees or users of our products to disclose sensitive information in order to gain access to our data or our customers’ data. These potential breaches of our security measures and the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unauthorized dissemination of proprietary information or sensitive, personal or confidential data about us, our employees or our customers, including the potential loss or disclosure of such information or data as a result of hacking, fraud, trickery or other forms of deception, could expose us, our employees, our customers or the individuals affected, to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, result in litigation and potential liability or fines for us, damage our brand and reputation or otherwise harm our business.

In 2013 and 2014, we incurred substantial losses and negative cash flows from operations. Although we were profitable and generated cash from our operations during 2015 - 2017, we cannot assure you that we will be able to maintain profitability or continue to have positive operating cash flows.

In 2013 and 2014, we incurred substantial net losses and a negative cash flow from operations. For example, in 2014 we incurred a net loss of $76.5 million, and negative cash flow from operations of $32.3 million. Our losses in prior periods were impacted by decreased gross margins and the significant expenses and charges associated with organizational restructuring activities. In 2015, 2016 and 2017 we recognized net income of $1.0 million, $11.4 million and $15.6 million, respectively, and generated cash flow from operating activities of $16.1 million, $25.8 million and $17.2 million, respectively. However, there is no assurance that we will be able to maintain or improve such results, which may require the implementation of additional cost reduction measures. Our failure to maintain profitability or to continue to have positive operating cash flows may impact our ability to compete in the market for the short and long term and impair our financial condition.

We could be adversely affected by our failure to comply with the covenants in our credit agreement or by the failure of any bank to provide us with credit under committed credit facilities.
 
We have a committed credit facility available for our use from a syndicate of several banks. Our credit agreement contains financial and other covenants requiring that we maintain, among other things, a certain ratio between our shareholders’ equity and the total value of our assets on our balance sheet, a certain ratio between our net financial debt to each of our working capital and accounts receivable, and a minimum cash covenant. Any failure to comply with the covenants, including due to poor financial performance, may constitute a default under the credit facility and may require us to seek an amendment or waiver from the banks to avoid termination of their commitments and/or an immediate repayment of all outstanding amounts under the credit facilities, which would have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and ability to operate. In addition, the payment may be accelerated and the credit facility may be cancelled upon an event, in which a current or future shareholder acquires control (as defined under the Israeli Securities Law) of us. For more information, please refer to Item 5: “OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS; Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

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In addition, the credit facility is provided by the syndication with each bank agreeing severally (and not jointly) to make its agreed portion of the credit loans to us in accordance with the terms of the credit loan agreement, which includes a framework for joint decision making powers by the banks. If one or more of the banks providing the committed credit facility were to default on its obligation to fund its commitment, the portion of the committed facility provided by such defaulting bank would not be available to us.

Emergence of new 5G radio access technologies, which make use of high frequency microwave and millimeter-wave spectrum in network architectures different than Point-to-Point, could potentially be used by existing and new vendors to provide new and different wireless backhaul solutions and cause our revenues to decrease.

The 5G industry is making significant efforts to provide ultra-high speed multi-Gbps mobile and fixed access between networks and people through smartphones, tablets, CPEs and other devices, as well as machines such as meters, street surveillance and body-worn cameras and more. In order to achieve such high access speeds, microwave and millimeter-wave spectrum, which is currently used primarily for wireless backhaul, may be used more often. Regulators are also making changes to the regulatory status of such additional high frequency spectrum for access use, traditionally used for wireless backhaul. Numerous companies have responded by investing in the development of such access technologies to resolve these challenges in an innovative and cost-effective manner supported by the availability of standards based components and products, which some could potentially be used for wireless backhaul as well. If such products and solutions are made available, those have the potential of taking share from our available backhaul market. If we are unable to respond in time by developing competing and cost effective high-speed wireless backhaul solutions, we could be negatively affected in market share, revenues and profits.

Consolidation of our potential customer base could harm our business.

The increasing trend towards mergers in the telecommunications industry has resulted in the consolidation of our potential customer base. In situations where an existing customer consolidates with another industry participant, which uses a competitor’s products, our sales to that existing customer could be reduced or eliminated completely to the extent that the consolidated entity decides to adopt the competing products. Further, consolidation of our potential customer base could result in purchasing decision delays as consolidating customers integrate their operations and could generally reduce our opportunities to win new customers, to the extent that the number of potential customers decreases. Moreover, some of our potential customers may agree to share networks, resulting in a decreased requirement for network equipment and associated services, and thus a decrease in the overall size of the market.  Network operators have started to share parts of their network infrastructure through cooperation agreements rather than legal consolidations, which may adversely affect demand for network equipment and could harm our business and results of operations.

We face intense competition from other communications solutions that compete with our high-capacity point-to-point wireless products, which could reduce demand for our products and have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

Our products compete with other high-speed communications solutions, including fiber optic lines and other wireless technologies. Some of these technologies utilize existing installed infrastructure and have achieved significantly greater market acceptance and penetration than high-capacity point-to-point wireless technologies.  Moreover, as more and more data demands are imposed on existing network frameworks, and due to consolidation of fixed and mobile operators, operators may be more motivated to invest in more expensive high-speed fiber optic networks to meet current needs and remain competitive.

Some of the principal disadvantages of high capacity, point-to-point wireless technologies that may make other technologies more appealing include suboptimal operations in extreme weather conditions and limitations in connection with the need to establish line of sight between antennas and limitations in site acquisition for multiple links, favoring other technologies.

To counter the disadvantages of point to point wireless technologies, license exempt technologies in the V-band spectrum (60Ghz band), which can operate in the wide bandwidth available at this band, may be used to deliver multi-Gbps capacity backhaul for a limited set of scenarios, such as dense urban, serving short range point-to-multipoint communications, thereby reducing site acquisition barriers, enabling flexible deployment models. Though the applicability of such solutions is limited to a small set of use cases, with shared capacity thus limiting the peak capacity available for urban backhaul, those may take share from point to point solutions we provide for these same urban scenarios.

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In addition, customers may decide to use transmission frequencies for which we do not offer products.

To the extent that these competing communications solutions reduce demand for our high-capacity point-to-point wireless transmission products, there may be a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.

We are engaged in supplying installation or rollout projects for our customers. Such long-term projects have inherent additional risks. Problems in executing these rollout projects, including delays or failure in acceptance testing procedures and other items beyond our control, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.

In a significant number of our projects, we are engaged in supplying our products as total rollout projects, which include installation and other services for our customers. In this context, we may act as the prime contractor and equipment supplier for network build-out projects, providing installation, supervision and commissioning services required for these projects, or we may provide such services and equipment for projects handled by system integrators. As we engage in more rollout projects, we expect to continue to routinely enter into contracts involving significant amounts to be paid by our customers over time and which often require us to deliver products and services representing an important portion of the contract price before receiving any significant payment from the customer.  Once a purchase agreement has been executed, the timing and amount of revenue, if applicable, may remain difficult to predict.  The completion of the installation and testing of the customer’s networks and the completion of all other suppliers’ network elements are subject to the customer’s timing and efforts, and other factors outside our control, such as site readiness for installation or availability of power and access to sites, which may prevent us from making predictions of revenue with any certainty. As a result, in these projects we assume greater financial risk. In addition, these types of projects could cause us to experience substantial period-to-period fluctuations in our results of operations and financial condition.

In addition, typically in rollout projects, we are dependent on the customer to issue acceptance certificates to generate and recognize revenue. In such projects, we bear the risks of loss and damage to our products until the customer has issued an acceptance certificate upon successful completion of acceptance tests. Moreover, we are not always the prime integrator in these projects and in such cases, the acceptance may be delayed even further since it depends on the acceptance of other network elements not in our control. The early deployment of our products during a long-term project reduces our cash flow, as we generally collect a significant portion of the contract price after successful completion of an acceptance test. If our products are damaged or stolen, if the network we install does not pass the acceptance tests or if the customer does not or will not issue an acceptance certificate, the end user or the system integrator could refuse to pay us any balance owed and we would incur substantial costs, including fees owed to our installation subcontractors, increased insurance premiums, transportation costs and expenses related to repairing or manufacturing the products. Moreover, in such a case, we may not be able to repossess the equipment, thus suffering additional losses.

If any of the above occurs, we may not be able to generate or recognize revenue and we may incur additional costs, any of which could materially adversely impact our results of operation and financial condition.

In projects in which we supply installation or rollout services, we may be required to ramp up rapidly in order to meet our customer’s timelines.

In large projects in the frame of which we supply installation or rollout services, we may be required to ramp up rapidly in order to meet our customer’s requirements. In some cases, we receive orders, which require substantial and rapid acquisition of services by third party service providers or fast hiring of additional employees.

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If we are unsuccessful in obtaining rapidly, high quality large scale third party services, or hire adequate employees, we may not be able to meet our obligations to our customers and may be required to pay penalties or even face cancelation of orders.

Our failure to establish and maintain effective internal control over financial reporting could result in material misstatements in our financial statements or a failure to meet our reporting obligations. This may cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, which could result in the trading price of our shares to decline.

Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as such term is defined in Rule 13a-15(f) of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) and the Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”), we carried out an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2017, using the criteria established in “Internal Control - Integrated Framework” set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) (COSO).

A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, in internal control over financial reporting, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the Company’s annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected in a timely manner.

At the end of 2014, based on the Company’s evaluation, our management, including the CEO and CFO, identified a material weakness related to our legal entity in Brazil, which accounted for approximately 10% of our total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2014, and approximately 9% of our total assets as of the year ended December 31, 2014, finding that we did not maintain effective controls over our financial reporting and closing procedures as of December 31, 2014. This material weakness resulted from the fact that our accounting and supervisory personnel in Brazil did not have adequate accounting experience to enforce compliance with all the procedures that had been defined to ensure appropriate financial reporting. This deficiency could result in a material misstatement of the annual or interim consolidated financial statements that may not be prevented or detected on a timely basis.

With the oversight of CEO and CFO, we took steps to remediate the underlying causes of the material weakness in Brazil and as a result, as of December 31, 2015, 2016, and 2017, we had no material weakness in our internal controls over our financial reporting.

However, if we conclude in the future that our internal controls over financial reporting are not effective, we may fail to meet our future reporting obligations on a timely basis, our financial statements may contain material misstatements, our operating results may be negatively impacted, and we may be subject to litigation and regulatory actions, causing investor perceptions to be adversely affected and potentially resulting in a decline in the market price of our shares. Even if we conclude that our internal controls over financial reporting are adequate, any internal control or procedure, no matter how well designed and operated, can only provide reasonable assurance of achieving desired control objectives and cannot prevent all mistakes or intentional misconduct or fraud.

Due to inaccurate forecasts, we may be exposed to inventory-related losses on inventories purchased by our contract manufacturers and other suppliers, or to increased expenses should unexpected production ramp up be required. In addition, part of our inventory may be written off, which would increase our cost of revenues.

Our contract manufacturers and other suppliers are required to purchase inventory based on manufacturing projections we provide to them. If the actual orders from our customers are lower than projected, or the mix of products ordered changes, or if we decide to change our product line and/or our product support strategy, our contract manufacturers or other suppliers will have excess inventory of raw materials or finished products, which we would typically be required to purchase, thus incurring additional costs and our gross profit and results of operations could be adversely affected. In addition, our inventory levels may be too high, and inventory may become obsolete or over-stated on our balance sheet. This would require us to write off inventory, which could adversely affect our gross profit and results of operations.

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We require our contract manufacturers and other suppliers from time to time, to purchase more inventory than is immediately required and with respect to our contract manufacturers, to partially assemble components, in order to shorten our delivery time in case of an increase in demand for our products. In the absence of such increased demand, we may need to make advance payments or compensate our contract manufacturers or other suppliers, as needed. We also may purchase components or raw materials from time to time for use by our contract manufacturers in the manufacturing of our products.

Alternatively, if we underestimate our requirements and our actual orders from customers are significantly larger than our planned forecast, we may be required to accelerate production and purchase of supplies, which may result in additional costs of buying components at less attractive prices, paying expediting fees and excess shipment costs, overtime and other manufacturing expenses. As a result, our gross margins and results of operations could be adversely affected.

Inventory of raw materials, work in-process or finished products located either at our warehouses or our customers’ sites as part of the network build-up may accumulate in the future, and we may encounter losses due to a variety of factors, including:
 
·
new generations of products replacing older ones, including changes in products because of technological advances and cost reduction measures; and

·
the need of our contract manufacturers to order raw materials that have long lead times and our inability to estimate exact amounts and types of items thus needed, especially with regard to the frequencies in which the final products ordered will operate.
 
Further, our inventory of finished products located either at our warehouse or our customers’ sites as part of a network build-up may accumulate if a customer were to cancel an order or refuse to physically accept delivery of our products, or in rollout projects, which include acceptance tests, refuse to accept the network. The rate of accumulation may increase in a period of economic downturn.

Our sales cycles in connection with competitive bids or to prospective customers are lengthy.

It typically takes from three to twelve months after we first begin discussions with a prospective customer, before we receive an order from that customer, if an order is received at all. In some instances, we participate in competitive bids, in tenders issued by our customers or prospective customers, and these tender processes can continue for many months before a decision is made by the customer. In addition, even after the initial decision is made, there may be a lengthy testing and integration phase or contract negotiation phase before a final decision to purchase is made.  In some cases, even if we have signed a contract and our products were tested and approved for usage, it could take a significant amount of time until customer places purchase orders, if at all. As a result, we are required to devote a substantial amount of time and resources to secure sales. In addition, the lengthy sales cycle results in greater uncertainty with respect to any particular sale, as events that impact customers’ decisions occur during such cycle and in turn, increase the difficulty of forecasting our results of operations.

If we fail to obtain regulatory approval for our products, or if sufficient radio frequency spectrum is not allocated for use by our products, our ability to market our products may be restricted.

Generally, our products must conform to a variety of regulatory requirements and international treaties established to avoid interference among users of transmission frequencies and to permit interconnection of telecommunications equipment. Any delays in compliance with respect to our future products could delay the introduction of those products. Also, these regulatory requirements may change from time to time, which could affect the design and marketing of our products as well as the competition we face from other suppliers’ products, which may not be affected as much from such changes. Delays in allocation of new spectrum for use with wireless backhaul communications, such as the E and V bands in various countries, at prices which are competitive for our customers, may also adversely affect the marketing and sales of our products.

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In addition, in most jurisdictions in which we operate, users of our products are generally required to either have a license to operate and provide communications services in the applicable radio frequency or must acquire the right to do so from another license holder. Consequently, our ability to market our products is affected by the allocation of the radio frequency spectrum by governmental authorities, which may be by auction or other regulatory selection. These governmental authorities may not allocate sufficient radio frequency spectrum for use by our products. We may not be successful in obtaining regulatory approval for our products from these authorities and as we develop new products either our products or some of the regulations will need to change to take full advantage of the new product capabilities in some geographies. Historically, in many developed countries, the lack of available radio frequency spectrum has inhibited the growth of wireless telecommunications networks. If sufficient radio spectrum is not allocated for use by our products, our ability to market our products may be restricted, which would have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Additionally, regulatory decisions allocating spectrum for use in wireless backhaul at frequencies used by our competitors’ products, could increase the competition we face.

Other areas of regulation and governmental restrictions, including tariffs on imports and technology controls on exports or regulations related to licensing and allocation processes, could adversely affect our operations and financial results.

Our products are used in critical communications networks, which may subject us to significant liability claims.

Since our products are used in critical communications networks, we may be subject to significant liability claims if our products do not work properly. The terms of agreements with our customers do not always provide sufficient protection from liability claims. In addition, any insurance policies we have may not adequately cover our exposure with respect to such claims. We warrant to our current customers that our products will operate in accordance with our product specifications, but if our products fail to conform to these specifications, our customers could require us to remedy the failure or could assert claims for damages. Liability claims could require us to spend significant time and money in litigation or to pay significant damages. Any such claims, successful or not, would be costly and time-consuming to defend, and could divert management’s attention and seriously damage our reputation and our business.

Our international wireless backhaul operations subject us to various regulations. Liabilities for failure to comply with these regulations could materially impact our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Due to the nature of our global operations, we must comply with certain international and domestic laws, regulations and restrictions, which may expose our business to risks including the following:

o
Our business is subject to numerous laws and regulations designed to protect the environment, including with respect to discharges management of hazardous substances. Although we believe that we comply with these requirements and that such compliance does not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows, the failure to comply with current or future environmental requirements could expose the Company to criminal, civil and administrative charges. Due to the nature of our business and environmental risks, we cannot provide assurance that any such material liability will not arise in the future.

o
Our wireless communications products emit electromagnetic radiation. While we are currently unaware of any negative effects associated with our products, there has been publicity regarding the potentially negative direct and indirect health and safety effects of electromagnetic emissions from wireless telephones and other wireless equipment sources, including allegations that these emissions may cause cancer. Health and safety issues related to our products may arise that could lead to litigation or other actions against us or to additional regulation of our products, and we may be required to modify our technology without the ability to do so. Even if these concerns prove to be baseless, the resulting negative publicity could affect our ability to market these products and, in turn, could harm our business and results of operations. Claims against other wireless equipment suppliers or wireless service providers could adversely affect the demand for our backhaul solutions.

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We sell other manufacturers’ products as an original equipment manufacturer, or OEM, which subjects us to various risks that may cause our revenues to decline.

We sell a limited number of products on an OEM basis through relationships with a number of equipment vendors and software vendors. Our sale of OEM products exposes us to the risk that these equipment vendors and software vendors might terminate their relationships with us, experience technical and financial problems, decide to promote their products through other channels, fail to deliver their products or discontinue production of their products. If we cannot develop alternative sources for OEM products, we could lose certain customers and our revenues could decline.

If we are unable to protect our intellectual property rights, our competitive position may be harmed.

Our ability to compete will depend, in part, on our ability to obtain and enforce intellectual property protection for our technology internationally. We currently rely upon a combination of trade secret, patents, trademark and copyright laws, as well as contractual rights, to protect our intellectual property.  However, as our patent portfolio may not be as extensive as those of our competitors, we may have limited ability to assert any patent rights in negotiations with, or in counterclaims against, competitors who assert intellectual property rights against us.

We also enter into confidentiality, non-competition and invention assignment agreements with our employees and contractors engaged in our research and development activities, as well as non-disclosure agreements with our suppliers and certain customers so as to limit access to and disclosure of our proprietary information. We cannot assure you that any steps taken by us will be adequate to deter misappropriation or impede independent third-party development of similar technologies. Moreover, under current law, we may not be able to enforce the non-competition agreements with our employees to their fullest extent.

We cannot assure you that the protection provided to our intellectual property by the laws and courts of foreign nations will be substantially similar to the remedies available under U.S. law. Furthermore, we cannot assure you that third parties will not assert infringement claims against us based on foreign intellectual property rights and laws that are different from those established in the United States. Any such failure or inability to obtain or maintain adequate protection of our intellectual property rights, for any reason, could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

Defending against intellectual property infringement claims could be expensive and could disrupt our business.

The wireless equipment industry is characterized by vigorous protection and pursuit of intellectual property rights, which has resulted in often protracted and expensive litigation. We have been exposed to infringement allegations in the past, and we may in the future be notified that we or our vendors, allegedly infringe certain patent or other intellectual property rights of others. Any such litigation or claim could result in substantial costs and diversion of resources. In the event of an adverse result of any such litigation, we could be required to pay substantial damages (including potentially treble damages and attorney’s fees should a court find such infringement willful), or to cease the use and licensing of allegedly infringing technology and the sale of allegedly infringing products (including those we purchase from third parties). We may be forced to expend significant resources to develop non-infringing technology, obtain licenses for the infringing technology or replace infringing third party equipment. We cannot assure you that we would be successful in developing such non-infringing technology, that any license for the infringing technology would be available to us on commercially reasonable terms, if at all, or that we will find suitable substitute for infringing third party equipment.

If we fail to attract and retain qualified personnel, our business, operations and product development efforts may be materially adversely affected.

Our products require sophisticated research and development, marketing and sales, and technical customer support. Our success depends on our ability to attract, train and retain qualified personnel in all these professional areas while also taking into consideration varying geographical needs and cultures. We compete with other companies for personnel in all of these areas, both in terms of profession and geography, and we may not be able to hire sufficient personnel to achieve our goals or support the anticipated growth in our business. The market for the highly-trained personnel we require globally is competitive, due to the limited number of people available with the necessary technical skills and understanding of our products and technology. If we fail to attract and retain qualified personnel due to compensation or other factors, our business, operations and product development efforts would suffer.

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Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares

Holders of our ordinary shares who are U.S. residents may be required to pay additional U.S. income taxes if we are classified as a passive foreign investment company (“PFIC”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

There is a risk that we may be classified as a PFIC. Our treatment as a PFIC could result in a reduction in the after-tax return for U.S. holders of our ordinary shares and may cause a reduction in the value of our shares. For U.S. federal income tax purposes, we will generally be classified as a PFIC for any taxable year in which either: (1) 75% or more of our gross income is passive income, or (2) at least 50% of the average value (determined on a quarterly basis) of our total assets for the taxable year produce, or are held for the production of, passive income. Based on our analysis of our income, assets, activities and market capitalization, we do not believe that we were a PFIC for the taxable year ended December 31, 2017. However, there can be no assurance that the United States Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") will not challenge our analysis or our conclusion regarding our PFIC status. There is also a risk that we were a PFIC for one or more prior taxable years or that we will be a PFIC in future years, including 2018. If we were a PFIC during any prior years, U.S. shareholders who acquired or held our ordinary shares during such years will generally be subject to the PFIC rules. The tests for determining PFIC status are applied annually and it is difficult to make accurate predictions of our future income, assets, activities and market capitalization, which are relevant to this determination. If we were determined to be a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes, highly complex rules would apply to U.S. holders owning our ordinary shares and such U.S. holders could suffer adverse U.S. tax consequences.

For more information, please see Item 10. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION – E. Taxation - “U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations” – “Tax Consequences if We Are a Passive Foreign Investment Company.”

Changes to the U.S. federal tax laws, including the recent enactment of certain tax reform measures, could have an impact on a shareholder’s investment in the Company.

U.S. federal income tax laws and the administrative interpretations of those laws may be amended at any time, potentially with retroactive effect.  On December 22, 2017, P.L. 115-97 was signed into law making significant changes to U.S. federal tax laws. The impact of these provisions on the Company’s operations and on its investors is uncertain, and may not become evident for some period of time. Prospective investors are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding the effect of these changes to the U.S. federal tax laws on an investment in our shares.

The price of our ordinary shares is subject to volatility. Such volatility could limit investors' ability to sell our shares at a profit, could limit our ability to successfully raise funds and may expose us to class actions against the Company and its senior executives.

The stock market in general, and the market price of our ordinary shares in particular, are subject to fluctuation. As a result, changes in our share price may be unrelated to our operating performance. The price of our ordinary shares has experienced volatility in the past and may continue to do so in the future, which may make it difficult for investors to predict the value of their investment, to sell shares at a profit at any given time, or to plan purchases and sales in advance. In the two-year period ended December 31, 2017, the price of our ordinary shares has ranged from a high of $4.23 per share to a low of $0.89 per share. On December 31, 2017 and 2016, the closing prices of our ordinary shares were $1.98 per share and $2.62 per share, respectively.  A variety of factors may affect the market price of our ordinary shares, including:

·
announcements of technological innovations by us or by others;
 
·
competitors’ positions and other events related to this market;
 
·
changes in the Company’s estimations regarding forward looking statements and/or announcement of actual results that vary significantly from such estimations;
 
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·
announcement of corporate transactions or other events impacting our revenues;
 
·
changes in financial estimates by securities analysts;
 
·
our earnings releases and the earnings releases of our competitors;
 
·
other announcements, whether by the Company or others, referring to the Company’s financial condition, results of operations and changes in strategy;
 
·
the general state of the securities markets (with a particular emphasis on the technology and Israeli sectors thereof);
 
·
the general state of the credit markets, the volatility of which could have an adverse effect on our investments; and
 
·
global macroeconomic developments.
 
All these factors and any corresponding price fluctuations may materially and adversely affect the market price of our ordinary shares and may result in substantial losses to our investors.

In addition to the volatility of the market price of our shares, the stock market in general and the market for technology companies in particular, has been highly volatile and at times thinly traded. These broad market and industry factors may seriously harm the market price of our ordinary shares, regardless of our operating performance. Investors may not be able to resell their shares following periods of volatility.

Further, as a result of the volatility of our stock price, we could be subject, and are currently subject, to securities litigation, which could result in substantial costs and divert management's attention and Company resources from business. On January 6, 2015 the Company was served with a motion to approve a purported class action, naming the Company, its CEO and its directors as defendants. The motion was filed with the District Court of Tel-Aviv. The purported class action is based on Israeli law and alleges breaches of duties by making false and misleading statements in the Company’s SEC filings and public statements during the period between July and October 2014. The plaintiff seeks specified compensatory damages in a sum of up to $75,000,000, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs (see below in Item 8. “FINANCIAL INFORMATION”). Although the Company believes it has a strong defense against these allegations and that the District Court should deny the motion to approve the class action, there is no assurance that the Company’s position will be accepted by the District Court. Furthermore, there is a risk that this litigation will divert the time and energy of the Company’s executives and lead to damages and expenditures that may not be covered by insurance. This may adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.

We may need to raise additional funds in the future; to the extent any such funding will be based on sales under shelf registration statements, our existing shareholders will experience dilution of their shareholdings.

On April 7, 2017, we filed a shelf registration statement on Form F-3 with the SEC, under which we are able to offer and sell from time to time, in one or more offerings, our ordinary shares, rights, warrants, debt securities and units comprising any combination of these securities (the “Securities”), which has an aggregate offering price of up to $150 million (the "2017 Shelf”). As to date, we did not offer any Securities under the 2017 Shelf. While there is no assurance that we will sell any Securities, including shares underlying securities convertible into, exchangeable for, or exercisable for shares, under the 2017 Shelf, any such sale in the future will result in dilution to existing shareholders.

Due to the size of their shareholdings, Yehuda and Zohar Zisapel have influence over matters requiring shareholder approval.

As of March 27, 2018, Zohar Zisapel, our Chairman of the Board of Directors, beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, 13.94% of our outstanding ordinary shares, and Yehuda and Nava Zisapel beneficially owned, directly or indirectly, 4.57% of our outstanding ordinary shares. Such percentages include options which are exercisable within 60 days as of March 27, 2018. Yehuda and Zohar Zisapel, who are brothers, do not have a voting agreement. Regardless, these shareholders may influence the outcome of various actions that require shareholder approval. Yehuda and Nava Zisapel have an agreement which provides for certain coordination in respect of sales of shares of Ceragon as well as for tag along rights with respect to off-market sales of Ceragon’s shares.

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Being a foreign private issuer exempts us from certain SEC and Nasdaq requirements, which may result in less protection than is afforded to investors under rules applicable to domestic issuers.

We are a "foreign private issuer" within the meaning of rules promulgated by the SEC. As such, we are exempt from certain provisions applicable to U.S. public companies, including:

·
The rules under the Exchange Act requiring the filing with the SEC of quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and immediate reports on Form 8-K;

·
The sections of the Exchange Act regulating the solicitation of proxies, consents or authorizations in respect of securities registered under the Exchange Act;

·
The provisions of regulation FD aimed at preventing issuers from making selective disclosures of material information; and

·
The sections of the Exchange Act requiring insiders to file public reports of their stock ownership and trading activities and establishing insider liability for profit realized from any "short-swing" trading transaction (a purchase and sale, or sale and purchase, of the issuer's equity securities within less than six months).

In addition, we are permitted to follow certain home country corporate governance practices and laws in lieu of certain Nasdaq listing requirements with regard to, among other things, shareholder approval of equity-based incentive plans for our employees and the requirement to have a formal charter for our Compensation Committee. Following our home country governance practices as opposed to the requirements that would otherwise apply to a U.S. company listed on the Nasdaq, may provide less protection to investors than is accorded under the Nasdaq Listing Rules applicable to domestic issuers. For more information regarding specific exemptions we chose to adopt, please see “Item 16G. CORPORATE GOVERNANCE.”

We are subject to regulations related to “conflict minerals,” which could adversely impact our business.

Pursuant to Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act, as a United States publicly-traded company we are required to disclose use or potential use of certain minerals and their derivatives, including tantalum, tin, gold and tungsten, that are mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries and deemed conflict minerals. These requirements necessitate due diligence efforts to assess whether such minerals are used in our products in order to make the relevant required annual disclosures. We timely file our conflict minerals reports. While there are, and will be, ongoing costs associated with complying with these disclosure requirements, we may face reputational challenges that could impact future sales if we determine that certain products of ours contain minerals not determined to be conflict free, or if we are unable to verify with sufficient accuracy the origins of all conflict minerals potentially used in our products.

Risks Related to Operations in Israel
 
Conditions in the Middle East and in Israel may adversely affect our operations.
 
Our headquarters, a substantial part of our research and development facilities and some of our contract manufacturers’ facilities are located in Israel. Accordingly, we are directly influenced by the political, economic and military conditions affecting Israel. Specifically, we could be adversely affected by:
 
·
hostilities involving Israel;
 
·
the interruption or curtailment of trade between Israel and its present trading partners;
 
·
a downturn in the economic or financial condition of Israel; and
 
·
a full or partial mobilization of the reserve forces of the Israeli army.
 
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Israel has been subject to a number of armed conflicts that have taken place between it and its Arab neighbors. While Israel has entered into peace agreements with both Egypt and Jordan, it has no peace arrangements with any other Arab countries. Further, all efforts to improve Israel's relationship with the Palestinian Authority have failed to result in a permanent solution, and there have been numerous periods of hostility in recent years. This state of hostility, varying from time to time in intensity and degree, has led to security and economic problems for Israel.
 
The high level of uncertainty in the region continued to intensify in 2017 with the continuation of the civil war and state of chaos experienced in Syria, adjacent to Israel's northern border, the continued involvement of regional extremist Islamic groups, based in Syria, in hostile activities against Israel, and the continued hostile activities of ISIS, the Islamic State, in Syria, and in the Sinai Peninsula - which all contribute to the tension in the region. Also, relations between Israel and Iran continue to be seriously strained, especially due to the fact that Iran is perceived by Israel as sponsor of these regional extremist Islamic groups, and also with regard to Iran's nuclear program.
 
All of the above raise a concern as to the stability in the region, which may affect the political and security situation in Israel and therefore could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
 
Furthermore, the continued conflict with the Palestinians is already disrupting some of Israel's trading activities. Certain countries, primarily in the Middle East, but also in Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as certain companies and organizations around the world, continue to participate in a boycott of Israeli firms and others doing business with Israel and Israeli companies. The boycott, restrictive laws, policies or practices directed towards Israel or Israeli businesses could, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on our business in the future, for example by way of sales opportunities that we could not pursue or from which we will be precluded. Further deterioration of our relations with the Palestinians or countries in the Middle East could expand the disruption of international trading activities in Israel, may materially and negatively affect our business conditions and could harm our results of operations.
 
Our business may also be disturbed by the obligation of personnel to perform military service. Our employees who are Israeli citizens are subject to a periodical obligation to perform reserve military service, until they reach the age of 45 (or older, for reservists with certain occupations). During times of a military conflict, these employees may be called to active duty for longer periods of time. In response to the increase in violence and terrorist activity in the past years, there have been periods of significant call-ups for military reservists and it is possible that there will be further military reserve duty call-ups in the future. In case of further regional instability such employees, who may include one or more of our key employees, may be absent for extended periods of time which may materially adversely affect our business.
 
We can give no assurance that the political and security situation in Israel, as well as the economic situation, will not have a material impact on our business in the future.
 
We have received Israeli government grants for research and development expenditures, which restrict our ability to manufacture products and transfer technologies or know-how outside of Israel.
 
We have received grants from the Israel Innovation Authority (formerly known as the Office of Chief Scientist – "OCS") ("Israel Innovation Authority" or "IIA") for the financing of a significant portion of our research and development expenditures in Israel. Even following full repayment of any IIA grants, and unless otherwise agreed by the applicable authority of the IIA, we must nevertheless continue to comply with the requirements of the Encouragement of Industrial Research and Development Law, 1984 and regulations promulgated there under (the "R&D Law").
 
For information regarding the above-mentioned and other restrictions imposed by the R&D Law, please see Item 4. “INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY- B. Business Overview - The Israel Innovation Authority, formerly – the Israeli Office of Chief Scientist.”
 
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The tax benefits to which we are currently entitled from our approved enterprise program and our beneficiary enterprise program, require us to satisfy specified conditions, which, if we fail to meet, would deny us from these benefits in the future. Further, if such tax benefits are reduced or eliminated in the future, we may be required to pay increased taxes.
 
The Company has capital investment programs that have been granted approved enterprise status by the Israeli government (the “Approved Programs”), and a program under beneficiary enterprise status pursuant to Israel’s Law for the Encouragement of Capital Investments, 1959 (the “Beneficiary Program”). When we begin to generate taxable income from these approved or beneficiary enterprise programs, the portion of our income derived from these programs will be tax exempt for a period of two years, and will be subject to a reduced tax for an additional eight years thereafter, depending on the percentage of our share capital held by non-Israelis. The benefits available to an approved or beneficiary enterprise program are dependent upon the fulfillment of conditions stipulated under applicable law and in the certificates of approval or in rulings obtained from the Israeli Tax Authorities with respect to beneficiary enterprise programs. If we fail to comply with these conditions, in whole or in part, we may be required to pay additional taxes for the period(s) in which we benefited from the tax exemption or reduced tax rates and would likely be denied these benefits in the future. The amount by which our taxes would increase will depend on the difference between the then-applicable corporate tax rate and the rate of tax, if any, that we would otherwise pay as an approved enterprise or beneficiary enterprise, and on the amount of any taxable income that we may earn in the future.
 
In addition, the Israeli government may reduce, or eliminate in the future, tax benefits available to approved or beneficiary enterprise programs. Our Approved and Beneficiary Program and the resulting tax benefits may not continue in the future at their current levels or at any level, and the legislation regarding Preferred Enterprise may not be applicable to us or may not fully compensate us for such change. The termination or reduction of these tax benefits would likely increase our tax liability. The amount, if any, by which our tax liability would increase will depend upon the rate of any tax increase, the amount of any tax rate benefit reduction, and the amount of any taxable income that we may earn in the future. For a description of legislation regarding “Preferred Enterprise" see Item 10. “ADDITIONAL INFORMATION; Taxation; Tax Benefits under the 2011 Amendment”.

It may be difficult to enforce a U.S. judgment against us or our officers and directors, or to assert U.S. securities laws claims in Israel.
 
We are incorporated under the laws of the State of Israel. Service of process upon our directors and officers, almost all of whom reside outside the United States, may be difficult to obtain within the United States. Furthermore, because the majority of our assets and investments, and almost all of our directors and officers are located outside the United States, any judgment obtained in the United States against us or any of them may not be collectible within the United States.
 
Additionally, it may be difficult to enforce civil liabilities under U.S. securities law in original actions instituted in Israel. Israeli courts may refuse to hear a claim based on an alleged violation of U.S. securities laws reasoning that Israel is not the most appropriate forum to bring such a claim. In addition, even if an Israeli court agrees to hear such a claim, it is not certain if Israeli law or U.S. law will be applicable to the claim. If U.S. law is found to be applicable, the content of applicable U.S. law must be proved as a fact by an expert witness, which can be a time-consuming and costly process. Certain matters of procedure will also be governed by Israeli law. There is little binding case law in Israel that addresses the matters described above.
 
Your rights and responsibilities as a shareholder will be governed by Israeli law which differs in some respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders of U.S. companies.
 
Since we are incorporated under Israeli law, the rights and responsibilities of our shareholders are governed by our Articles of Association and Israeli law. These rights and responsibilities differ in some respects from the rights and responsibilities of shareholders in United States-based corporations. In particular, a shareholder of an Israeli company has a duty to act in good faith and in a customary manner in exercising its rights and performing its obligations towards the company and other shareholders and to refrain from abusing its power in the company, including, among other things, in voting at the general meeting of shareholders on certain matters, such as an amendment to a company’s articles of association, an increase of a company’s authorized share capital, a merger of a company and approval of related party transactions that require shareholder approval. A shareholder also has a general duty to refrain from discriminating against other shareholders. In addition, a controlling shareholder or a shareholder who knows that it possesses the power to determine the outcome of a shareholders’ vote or to appoint or prevent the appointment of an office holder in a company, or has another power with respect to a company, has a duty to act in fairness towards such company. Israeli law does not define the substance of this duty of fairness and there is limited case law available to assist us in understanding the nature of this duty or the implications of these provisions. These provisions may be interpreted to impose additional obligations and liabilities on our shareholders that are not typically imposed on shareholders of U.S. corporations.
 
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Provisions of Israeli law may delay, prevent or make undesirable an acquisition of all or significant portion of our shares or assets.

Israeli corporate law regulates mergers and requires that a tender offer be effected when certain thresholds of percentage ownership of voting power in a company are exceeded (subject to certain conditions). Further, Israeli tax considerations may make potential transactions undesirable to us, or to some of our shareholders, if the country of residence of such shareholder does not have a tax treaty with Israel (thus not granting relief from payment of Israeli taxes). With respect to mergers, Israeli tax law provides tax deferral in certain circumstances but makes the deferral contingent on the fulfillment of numerous conditions, including a holding period of two years from the date of the transaction, during which certain sales and dispositions of shares of the participating companies are restricted. Moreover, with respect to certain share swap transactions, the tax deferral is limited in time, and when such time expires, the tax becomes payable even if no actual disposition of the shares has occurred. See “Item 10.B. - Mergers and Acquisitions under Israeli Law.”

In addition, in accordance with the Restrictive Trade Practices Law, 1988, and the R&D Law, to which we are subject due to our receipt of grants from the IIA, approvals regarding a change in control (such as a merger or similar transaction) may be required in certain circumstances. For more information regarding such required approvals please see Item 4. “INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY - B. Business Overview - The Israel Innovation Authority, formerly – the Israeli Office of Chief Scientist.”

These provisions of Israeli law could have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control and may make it more difficult for a third party to acquire us, or for our shareholders to elect different individuals to our Board of Directors, even if doing so would be beneficial to our shareholders, and may also limit the price that investors may be willing to pay in the future for our ordinary shares.

ITEM 4.          INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY
 
A. History and Development of the Company
 
We were incorporated under the laws of the State of Israel on July 23, 1996 as Giganet Ltd.  We changed our name to Ceragon Networks Ltd. on September 6, 2000. We operate under the Israeli Companies Law, and our registered office is located at 24 Raoul Wallenberg Street, Tel Aviv, Israel 69719, and the telephone number is +972-3-543-1000.  Our web address is www.ceragon.com. Information contained on our website does not constitute a part of this annual report.
 
Our agent for service of process in the United States is Ceragon Networks, Inc., our wholly owned U.S. subsidiary and North American headquarters, located at Overlook at Great Notch, 150 Clove Road, 9th Floor, Little Falls, NJ 07424.
 
B. Business Overview

We are the leading wireless backhaul specialist company in terms of unit shipments and global distribution of our business, providing innovative wireless backhaul solutions to global wireless backhaul markets.  We provide wireless backhaul solutions that enable cellular operators and other wireless service providers to deliver a diverse service portfolio over a 5G, 4G and 3G network infrastructure, including: voice, mobile and fixed broadband, Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices, as well as public safety and other mission critical services. We also provide our solutions for wireless backhaul to other vertical markets such as Internet service providers, public safety, utilities and oil and gas offshore drilling platforms. Our wireless backhaul solutions use microwave and millimeter-wave radio technologies to transfer large amounts of telecommunication traffic between wireless 5G, 4G, 3G and other cellular base station technologies (distributed, or centralized with dispersed remote radio heads) and the core of the service provider’s network.  We are also a member of industry consortiums of companies, which attempt to better define future technologies in ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) markets, such as Open Networking Foundation (ONF), Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and others.

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In addition to providing our solutions, we also offer our customers a comprehensive set of turn-key services, including advanced network and radio planning, site survey, solutions development, network rollout, maintenance, wireless backhaul network audit and optimization, and training. Our services include powerful project management tools that streamline deployments of complex wireless networks, thereby reducing time and costs associated with network set-up and allowing a faster time-to-revenue.  Our experienced teams can deploy hundreds of wireless backhaul links every week, and our rollout project track record includes hundreds of thousands of links already installed and operational with a variety of industry-leading operators.

Designed for Internet Protocol (IP) network configurations, including risk-free migration from legacy to next-generation backhaul networks, our solutions provide fiber-like connectivity at any distance, be it a few kilometers or 10s of kilometers, and even longer, for next generation IP-based networks, for legacy circuit-switched, or SONET/SDH, networks and for hybrid networks that combine IP and circuit-switching technologies. Our solutions support all wireless access technologies, including 5G-NR NSA, LTE-Advanced-Pro, LTE-Advanced, LTE, HSPA, EV-DO, CDMA, W-CDMA, WiFi and GSM. These solutions allow wireless service providers to cost-effectively and seamlessly evolve their networks from circuit-switched and hybrid concepts to all-IP packet-based concepts, thereby meeting the increasing demand of a growing number of subscribers of any type be those consumers and enterprises with growing needs for mobile and other multimedia services, and a growing number of machines or IoT devices such as street surveillance devices or meters.

We also provide our solutions to other non-carrier vertical markets such as oil and gas companies, public safety organizations, businesses and public institutions, broadcasters, energy utilities and others that operate their own private communications networks. Our solutions are deployed by more than 460 service providers of all sizes, as well as in hundreds of private networks, in more than 130 countries.

As of December 31, 2017, we have $100.2 million of credit with three financial institutions, which was last extended until March 31, 2018. The credit facility provides for a credit line of short term loans of up to $50 million and bank guarantees in the sum of up to $50.2 million. In March 2018, we signed a further amendment to the credit facility agreement that changed certain terms of the Credit Facility. See Item 5. “OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS; B. Liquidity and Capital Resources,” for a more detailed discussion.

Wireless Backhaul; Short-haul, Long-haul and Small Cells Backhaul

Deployed by operators worldwide, today’s wireless base stations handle many different technologies such as smart phones, tablets, PCs, CPEs, and IoT devices such as meters and wearables. Voice and data traffic generated by these high-end devices are then gathered and transmitted via the backhaul transport network to the radio frequency (RF), or wireless network. Wireless backhaul offers network operators a cost-efficient alternative to wire-line (copper/fiber) connectivity. Support for high capacities and very large numbers of devices, means that all value-added services can be supported, while the high reliability of wireless systems provide for lower maintenance costs. Because they require no trenching, wireless links can also be set up much faster and at a fraction of the cost of wire-line solutions. On the operator’s side, this translates into an increase in operational efficiency and faster time-to-market, as well as a shorter timetable to achieving new revenue streams.
 
The wireless backhaul market is divided into two main market segments. The first is a market segment in which operators invest resources and efforts to select the best wireless backhaul solution that will meet their wireless backhaul needs, in terms of the ability to improve their business operational efficiency, services reliability and their customers’ (subscribers’) quality of experience. This market segment is referred to as best-of-breed. The other market segment is characterized by operators that do not select the wireless backhaul solution, since this decision is made by a network’s solution provider retained by the operator. This network solution provider delivers an end-to-end solution and the equipment required to operate the entire network, including the wireless backhaul equipment. Operators in this segment of the market often view the wireless backhaul solution as a “commodity,” which should deliver network connectivity, without optimization of network and other resources, and a solution which does not play a primary role within the end-to-end network rollout considerations. This segment of the market is referred to as bundled-deals.
 
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Ceragon serves the best-of-breed segment of the market and specializes in a range of solutions, which we believe provide high value for our customers:

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Shorthaul solutions, which typically provide a wireless link capacity of up to 2 Gbps per link and are used to carry voice and data services over distances of between several hundred feet to 10 miles. Short-haul links are deployed in access applications (macro cells and small cells) wirelessly connecting the individual base-stations and cellular towers to the core network. Short-haul solutions are also used in a range of non-carrier “vertical” applications such as state and local government, public safety, education and off-shore communication for oil and gas platforms.

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Long-haul solutions, which typically provide a capacity of up to 10 Gbps, are used in the “highways” of the telecommunication backbone network. These links are used to carry services at distances of 10 to 50 miles, and, using the right planning, configuration and equipment, can also bridge distances of 100 miles. Long-haul solutions are also used in a range of non-carrier “vertical” applications such as broadcast, state and local government, public safety, utilities and off-shore communication for oil and gas platforms.

Ceragon has, on more than one occasion, been the first to introduce new products and features to the market, including the first solution for wireless transmission of 155 Mbps at 38 GHz, the first native IP wireless transmission offering. More recently, we introduced a variety of technological enhancements including the first hitless/errorless 8-step Adaptive Coding and Modulation (ACM) technology (2007); first native Ethernet multi-channel long-haul radio with ACM (2010); unique asymmetric transfer mode and multi-layer compression (2011); and 1024QAM Long-Haul IP radio with 9 step ACM (2012);  the industry’s first multicore radio solution supporting 2048 QAM, 4x4 LoS MIMO (2012), the industry’s first and only “Advanced Frequency Reuse” technology (2015), as well as first and only Advanced Space Diversity technology (2017).  These last three technologies mentioned, are based on the Company’s multicore technology and allow operators to flexibly deploy the wireless base stations and other sites exactly where those are needed and at lower site acquisition costs, without being bound to wireless backhaul deployment limitations as a result of interferences from various other links, which are often deployed in a dense carrier’s network.

Industry Background

The market demand for wireless backhaul is being generated primarily by cellular operators, wireless broadband service providers, businesses and public institutions that operate private networks. This market is fueled by the continuous customer growth in developing countries, and the explosion in mobile data usage in developed countries. Traditionally based on circuit-switched solutions such as T1/E1 or SONET/SDH, the market for wireless backhaul has shifted over the past decades, mostly to more flexible higher capacity and cost-efficient architectures, based on IP/Ethernet technologies. The main catalyst of the shift towards IP/Ethernet-based networks as a whole, and the wireless backhaul in particular, has been the vast adoption of 4G/LTE wireless service technology and its derivatives over the past several years (e.g. LTE-A, LTE-A-Pro).

Rapid subscriber growth and the proliferation of advanced smartphones, tablets and other high data consuming devices, driven mainly by video content, have significantly increased the amount of traffic that must be carried over a cellular operator’s backhaul infrastructure. As a result, existing transport capacity is heavily strained, creating a bottleneck that hinders service delivery and quality. The proliferation of industrial, security and metering devices through IoT technologies is also expected to increase the total capacity that is needed to be transported throughout networks and put additional strain on network capacity, requiring even higher capacity wireless backhaul connectivity.

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With the growth in adoption of 4G/LTE and LTE-Advanced/Pro, which provides even higher capacity, cellular operators are seeking strategies, using new technologies which will allow further business growth, to facilitate quick and cost-efficient enablement of new services for more connected subscribers (either human or machine). Among those are next generation cellular 5G technologies, as well as Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) technologies, the latter two are key for network slicing:

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Next generation cellular 5G services technologies, for which the first phase of the standard has been ratified in late 2017 and further standardization efforts are ongoing will be phased in over several years. When fully deployed, 5G networks are expected to serve a 1,000-fold larger number of subscribers than served over 4G networks, with 1Gbps, or more, service capacity for many. The need for supporting 5G service capacities, along with the support of large scale deployment of IoT devices in networks, will require wireless backhaul with higher capacity and scalability to support 5G services.

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Software Defined Networks (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) technologies are key to the network slicing approach which was introduced in recent years to 4G networks and is expected to grow in complexity and in adoption over 5G networks which are expected to support a much larger set of services. Network slicing is a network engineering model in which the physical network is providing resources to numerous virtual networks on top, whereas each virtual network delivers a specific set of performance characteristics for a specific service, or set of services, sharing common requirements. For example, a network slice that is tasked with delivering ultra-high bandwidth for mission critical multimedia services (voice and video) to law enforcement agencies, requires different amount of network resources ensuring prioritized capacity and minimal delay variation, whereas a different network slide support video streaming services for mobile entertainment. SDN and NFV technologies are designed to support network slicing models and its implementation, for high quality subscriber experience, by simplifying service creation and orchestration through simple network traffic engineering rules and tools, as well as enable end-to-end network resources optimization across all network domains, including the wireless backhaul domain, for increased operational efficiency. Network resources optimization is expected to be achieved, in part, by the use of SDN technologies with wireless backhaul optimization applications, which shall exploit network intelligence gathered by SDN controllers within the network.
 
The wireless backhaul domain of the network will require adaptation to these industry trends by enabling far higher capacities, with ultra-low latency for high service quality, simple service creation and optimization to cope with the influx of a thousand-fold increase in the number of services compared with 4G networks, and a high degree of wireless backhaul resource optimization that will be incorporated within the wireless backhaul network infrastructure.

Cellular Operators

In order to address the strain on backhaul capacity, cellular operators have a number of alternatives, including leasing existing fiber lines, laying new fiber optic networks or deploying wireless solutions. Leasing existing lines requires a significant increase in operating expenses and, in some cases, requires the wireless service provider to depend on a direct competitor. Laying new fiber-optic lines is capital-intensive and these lines cannot be rapidly deployed. The deployment of high capacity and ultra-high capacity point-to-point wireless links represents a scalable, flexible and cost-effective alternative for expanding backhaul capacity. Supporting data rates of 1 Gbps and above, over a single radio unit, wireless backhaul solutions enable cellular operators to add capacity only as required while significantly reducing upfront and ongoing backhaul costs.

Some of today’s backhaul networks, primarily in emerging markets, still employ a large number of circuit switched (or TDM) solutions - whether T1/E1 or high-capacity SDH/SONET. These networks, originally designed to carry voice-only services, have a limited bandwidth capacity and offer no cost-efficient scalability model. The surge in mobile data usage, fueled by anticipation and adoption of 4G/LTE, drives operators to accelerate and finalize the migration of their networks to a more flexible, feature-rich and cost optimized IP network architecture. Additionally, the surge in data usage in densely populated areas drives operators to explore new network architectures that utilize a variety of small-cell technologies requiring the deployment of dense wireless backhaul network in various microwave and millimeter-wave spectral bands. As operators transition to 4G/LTE and LTE-Advanced/Pro, all of which are IP-based wireless access technologies, they look for ways to benefit from IP technology in the backhaul while maintaining support for their primary legacy services. The progression that is expected in 4G gigabit LTE (most advanced 4G standard using LTE-A-Pro technology) and 5G networks rollout over the next several years, will broaden cellular operators’ assessment of the growing role the wireless backhaul may take in their network in 2-3 years’ time, as reaching the small cells with more fiber is expected to become a significant challenge.

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In order to ensure the success of these backhaul network strategies, as well as preparedness to broaden 4G gigabit LTE and 5G technologies adoption, operators require solutions that can support their legacy transport technology (TDM) while providing all the advanced IP capabilities and functionalities. These solutions should also support a scalable high capacity and flexible full IP network architecture once the transition phase from TDM is completed. Our solutions, which support any network architecture and include both all-IP as well as hybrid products, offer operators a simple and quick network modernization plan capable of evolving with the transition to 5G.

Wireless Broadband Service Providers

For wireless broadband service providers, which offer alternate high data access, high-capacity backhaul is essential for ensuring continuous delivery of rich media service across their high-speed data networks.  If the backhaul network and its components do not satisfy the service providers’ need for cost-effectiveness, resilience, scalability or ability to supply sufficient capacity, then the efficiency and productivity of the network may be seriously compromised. While both wireless and wire-line technologies can be used to build these backhaul systems, many wireless service providers opt for wireless point-to-point microwave solutions. This is due to a number of advantages of the technology including: rapid installation, support for high-capacity data traffic, scalability and lower cost-per-bit compared to wire-line alternatives.

Other Vertical Markets

Many large businesses and public institutions require private high bandwidth communication networks to connect multiple locations. These private networks are typically built using IP-based communications infrastructure. This market includes educational institutions, utility companies, oil and gas industry, broadcasters, state and local governments, public safety agencies, maritime customers and defense contractors. These customers continue to invest in their private communications networks for numerous reasons, including security concerns, the need to exercise control over network service quality and redundant network access requirements. As data traffic on these networks rises, we expect that businesses and public institutions will continue to invest in their communications infrastructure, including backhaul equipment. Like wireless service providers, customers in this market demand a highly reliable, cost-effective backhaul solution that can be easily installed and scaled to their bandwidth requirements.  Approximately 20% of our business is associated with private network operators.

Wireless vs. Fiber Backhaul

Though fiber-based networks can easily support the rapid growth in bandwidth demands, they carry high initial deployment costs and take longer to deploy than wireless. Certainly, where fiber is available within several hundred feet of the operator’s point of presence, with ducts already in place, and when there are no regulatory issues that prohibit the connection – fiber can become the operator’s preferred route. In almost all other scenarios, high-capacity wireless backhaul using microwave and millimeter-wave technologies, is significantly more cost efficient. Wireless backhaul is expected to take a significant role in 4G network densification and the transition to 5G rollout as a result of ease and speed of deployment.  In fact, in most cases the return-on-investment from fiber installations can only be expected in the long term, making it hard for operators to achieve lower costs per bit and earn profits in a foreseeable future.

Wireless microwave and millimeter-wave backhaul solutions on the other hand are capable of delivering high bandwidth, carrier-grade Ethernet and TDM services. Our wireless backhaul solutions are suitable for all capacities, carrying multi Gbps of the operators’ traffic over a single radio connection (or “link”). Unlike fiber, wireless solutions can be set up quickly and are more cost efficient on a per-bit basis from the outset. In many countries, microwave backhaul links are deployed as alternative routes to fiber, ensuring on-going communication in case of fiber-cuts and network failures. Millimeter-wave backhaul links over short distances, including small cells, are expected to be used for this purpose as well, as millimeter-wave spectrum becomes readily available in various countries, at acceptable costs.

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Licensed vs. License-exempt Wireless Backhaul

Licensed wireless backhaul: Service providers select the optimal available transmission frequency based on the rainfall intensity in the transmission area and the desired transmission range. The regulated, or licensed, microwave bands (4 - 42GHz) and millimeter-wave bands (71-86GHz) are allocated by government licensing authorities for high-capacity wireless transmissions. The license grants the licensee the exclusive use of that spectrum for a specific use thereby eliminating any interference issues.  A licensed microwave or millimeter-wave spectrum is typically the choice of leading operators around the world because it matches the bandwidth and interference protection they require. Our licensed spectrum products operate across the entire span of the licensed microwave and millimeter-wave spectrum described herein, from 4GHz microwave to 86GHz delivering multi Gbps per link and are scalable and versatile to meet all radio access networks, small cells, private networks and long-haul radio transmission paths requirements.

License-exempt wireless backhaul: Service providers also select license-exempt spectrum in order to provide high speed connectivity to businesses, campuses (often regarded as a wireless backhaul) and serve cellular small cells with wireless backhaul connectivity, without regulatory approval for spectrum.

License exempt spectrum can be categorized into two main categories: 1) 57 – 66GHz millimeter-wave band, known as the v-band spectrum and operating at very wide channel bandwidths, up to 2,000MHz and capable of delivering 10Gbps bi-directional capacity (FDD), though expected channel bandwidth operations is of 250MHz/500MHz channels which can deliver 1 – 2.5Gbps bi-directional capacity. The use of v-band spectrum requires the existence of a line of sight between the sites, allows to achieve high availability connectivity because of the narrow beam characteristics of the radio signal and provides the highest capacity when operating in a point-to-point communication mode. 2) sub 6GHz license-exempt spectrum, operating at narrow channel bandwidths of up to 80MHz and delivering up to 500Mbps bi-directional capacity (FDD), typically in point-to-multipoint communication mode. The use of sub 6GHz spectrum allows for non, or near, line of sight connectivity between the sites and facilitates an economic and flexible rollout model, at the expense of achieving modest capacity, as specified above. License exempt sub 6GHz bands are more vulnerable to interference as a result of the uncoordinated use and wide beam coverage, as well as the air interface implementation that are prevailing in the market. Examples of such spectrum are the 2.4GHz band and the 5.0 – 5.8GHz bands.

We provide a range of license-exempt solutions to provide service providers and private network owners with the solutions that best fit their service and connectivity needs; we provide high availability point-to-point multi Gbps solutions with very low latency for enterprises, campuses and small cells, operating in the license-exempt millimeter-wave v-band spectrum. For those who require modest capacity connectivity of very few hundreds of Mbps per site, we offer third-party equipment vendor solutions operating at license exempt sub 6GHz point-to-multipoint and point-to-point near/non line of sight wireless connectivity that allow them to make reasonable concessions between capacity and latency, service availability and total cost of ownership of the rollout.
 
Industry Trends and Developments

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LTE-A-Pro, or commonly named Gigabit LTE, and 5G technologies will enable operators to enhance their mobile broadband offering (to eMBB – Enhanced Mobile Broadband) as well as address new market segments such as IoT and mission critical applications with URLLC (Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications) and mMTC (Massive Machine Type Communications) services. Those services will require higher capacity networks and in particular higher backhaul capacity, far denser macro cells and small cells grids and the implementation of network virtualization technologies and architectures, namely network slicing using Software Defined Networking. Our IP-20 Platform resolves both higher capacity and network densification requirements with advanced capabilities, based on its multicore technology for microwave narrowband spectrum (up to 112Mhz) and the use of wider bands in millimeter-wave spectrum. Network virtualization requirements are addressed with layer 3 capabilities and SDN support.

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Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an emerging concept aimed at simplifying network operations and allowing network engineers and administrators to quickly respond to a fast-changing business environment. SDN delivers network architectures that transition networks from a world of task-specific dedicated network devices, to a world of optimization of network performance through network intelligence incorporated within network controllers performing control functions and network devices, which perform traffic (data-plane) transport. Our IP-20 Platform, which we launched during 2013, is an SDN-ready solutions suite that is built around a powerful software-defined engine and may be incorporated within the SDN network architecture.  Our SDN architecture is envisioned to provide a set of applications that can achieve end-to-end wireless backhaul network optimization by intelligently making use of the scarce network resources, such as spectrum and power consumption.

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The emergence of small cells presents backhaul challenges that differ from those of traditional macro-cells. Small cells can be used to provide a second layer of coverage in 4G/LTE networks, resulting in higher throughput and data rates for the end-user. Larger scale outdoor small cell deployment is anticipated to take place, in a gradual manner, as networks evolve to 5GCeragon already offers tailored solutions for forward looking mobile operators. Our small-cell wireless backhaul portfolio includes a variety of compact all-outdoor solutions that provide operators with optimal flexibility in meeting their unique physical, capacity, networking, and regulatory requirements.

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The network sharing business model is growing in popularity among mobile network operators (MNOs) who are faced with increasing competition from over-the-top players and an ever-growing capacity crunch. Network sharing can be particularly effective in the backhaul portion of mobile networks, especially as conventional macro cells evolve into super-sized macro sites that require exponentially more bandwidth for wireless backhaul. It has become abundantly clear that in these new scenarios, a new breed of wireless backhaul solutions with a significant investment is required. Our IP-20 Platform supports network sharing concepts by addressing both the ultra-high capacities required for carrying multiple operator traffic, as well as the policing for ensuring that each operator’s service level agreement is maintained.

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While green-field deployments tend to be all IP-based, the overwhelming portion of network infrastructure investments goes into upgrading, or “modernizing” existing cell-sites to fit new services with a lower total cost of ownership. Modernizing is more than a simple replacement of network equipment. It helps operators build up a network with enhanced performance, capacity and service support.  For example, Ceragon offers a variety of innovative mediation devices that eliminate the need to replace costly antennas, which are already deployed. In doing so, we help our customers to reduce the time and the costs associated with network upgrades.  The result: a smoother upgrade cycle, short network down-time during upgrades and faster time to revenue.

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A growing market for non-mobile backhaul applications which includes: offshore communications for the oil and gas, as well as the shipping industry, which require a unique set of solutions for use on moving rigs and vessels; broadcast networks that require robust, highly reliable communication for the distribution of live video content either as a cost efficient alternative to fiber, or as a backup for fiber installations; and Smart Grid networks for utilities, as well as local and national governments that seek greater energy efficiency, reliability and scale.

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A growing demand for high capacity, IP-based long haul solutions in emerging markets. This demand is driven by the need of operators to connect more communities to 3.5G, 4G and eventually 5G mobile value added services, and a lack of alternative (wire-line) backbone telecommunication infrastructure in these emerging markets.
 
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Subscriber growth continues mainly in emerging markets such as India, Africa and Latin America.
 
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Our Solutions

We offer a broad product portfolio of innovative, field-proven, high capacity wireless backhaul solutions, which incorporate our unique multicore technology. Our multicore technology is a key element in our differentiation within the wireless backhaul market, serving the best-of-breed market segment. Our multicore technology is comprised of a high order of digital signal carriers embedded in modems having multiple baseband cores, designed for microwave and millimeter-wave communications, and RF integrated circuits (RFIC), which support the entire available microwave and millimeter-wave spectrum. We integrate our multicore technology into sub-systems and complete wireless backhaul solutions that deliver high value for our customers. With our approach to solutions, from system-on-a-chip design, all the way to solutions design, we enable cellular operators, other wireless service providers, public safety organizations, utility companies and private network owners to effectively obtain a range of benefits:

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Increase business operational efficiency by reducing network related expenses: our customers are able to obtain the required capacity with one-quarter of the spectrum needed otherwise, double network capacity without adding more equipment simply by remotely expanding wireless link capacity, significantly reduce energy related expenses by utilizing our energy efficient products, use smaller antennas thereby reducing telecommunication tower leasing costs, and improve their staff productivity with the use of a single wireless backhaul platform for their long-haul, short-haul and small cells backhaul needs. We offer a range of solutions for quick and simple modernization of wireless networks to 4G LTE, LTE-Advanced/Pro, and 5G network evolution, which significantly contribute to our customers’ ability to modernize and expand their service networks.

Our wireless backhaul solutions are offered across the widest range of frequencies - from 4GHz microwaves to 86GHz millimeter-waves. This provides our customer more flexibility in deploying its wireless backhaul infrastructure, as it enables the customer to select the spectrum available in customer’s market, from a wider range of frequencies. Any transport network topology is supported to enable high network availability and resiliency, including ring, mesh, tree and chain topologies.

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Enhance customers’ (subscribers) quality of experience: our multicore technology allows our customers to improve subscriber (user) quality of experience generated from the voice, data and multimedia services that they provide to their customers. Our solutions enable our customers to deliver services with the flexibility to deploy wireless base stations and other types of communication sites, exactly where needed, in order to maximize their customers’ quality of experience. We do so by providing a solution which can dramatically reduce the interference between wireless backhaul links, thereby allowing more flexibility for deploying wireless backhaul wherever needed.

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Ensure peace of mind: our solutions utilize the latest in microwave and millimeter-wave technology, incorporated in-house developed System-on-Chips (baseband and RF integrated circuits), and use the latest advances in SMT (Surface-mount technologies)-based manufacturing – allowing our customers to benefit from the highest service availability across their Ceragon-based wireless backhaul network.

We provide our customers with future solutions already built-in to their Ceragon-installed base. We invest a significant amount of effort in designing and providing solutions, which are not only backward compatible with our earlier product generations, but allow our customers to reuse the radio units and antennas of their Ceragon links installed base, thereby replacing only the low labor-consuming indoor (sheltered) units - thus benefiting from the latest wireless backhaul performance of our latest technology across their Ceragon-installed base. Moreover, our solutions support multiple technologies within the same wireless backhaul equipment, providing our customers with high flexibility in network transition from legacy circuit-based connectivity to 4G and other IP/Ethernet-based connectivity, at their desired pace of transition - while achieving long-term operational efficiency, high service quality and availability.

Design to Cost. We see increasing demand for smaller systems with low power consumption and a cost structure that fits today’s business environment in the diverse markets, seeking wireless backhaul solutions. We believe that this complicated puzzle can only be solved through vertical integration from system to chip level. Our strategy to drive performance up while driving cost down is achieved through our investment in modem and RF (radio frequency) integrated circuit (IC) design. Our advanced chipsets, which are already in use in hundreds of thousands of units in the field, integrate all the radio functionality required for high-end microwave and millimeter-wave systems. By owning the technology and controlling the complete system design, we achieve a very high level of vertical integration and cost structure and control over the timing of introducing certain capabilities, which is not available to vendors relying on off-the-shelf chipsets. This, in turn, yields systems that have superior performance when compared with systems which use off-the-shelf chipsets component available from the other single source, due to our ability to closely integrate and fine-tune the performance of all the radio components. By significantly reducing the number of components in the system and simplifying its design, we have made our solutions easier to manufacture. We have introduced automated testing that allows us to speed up production while lowering the costs for electronic manufacturing services manufacturers. Thus, we believe we are able to achieve one of the lowest per-system cost positions in the industry and can offer our customers further savings through compact, low power consumption designs – which is becoming a key parameter in the ability of operators to deploy their networks, while meeting operational efficiency targets.

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As an example, our FibeAir IP-20C, which is a complete wireless backhaul node, can quadruple the link capacity over a single frequency channel when compared to the capacity that can be achieved over the same single frequency channel by other vendors’ solutions. This IP-20C node has nearly the same footprint as our older generation RFU-C which is a single-channel radio unit that Ceragon provides, and is not a full system, but only the RF module of the product. This achievement could not have been possible without our full control of the entire design and production process.

Strategic Partnerships. Ceragon maintains strategic partnerships with third party solution vendors and network integrators. Through these relationships Ceragon develops interoperable ecosystems, enabling operators to profitably evolve mobile networks by using complementary backhaul alternatives.

Our Products

Our portfolio of products utilizes microwave and millimeter-wave radio technologies that provide our customers with a wireless connectivity that dynamically adapts to weather conditions and optimizes range and efficiency for a given frequency channel bandwidth. Our products are typically sold as a complete system comprised of four components: an outdoor unit, an indoor unit, a compact high-performance antenna and a network management system. We offer all-packet microwave and millimeter-wave radio links, with optional migration from TDM to Ethernet. Our products include integrated networking functions for both TDM and Ethernet.

We offer our products in three configurations: All-indoor, All-outdoor and Split-mount.

 
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Split-mount solutions consist of:

Ø
   Indoor units which are used to process and manage information transmitted to and from the outdoor unit, aggregate multiple transmission signals and provide a physical interface to wire-line networks.

Ø
   Outdoor units or Radio Frequency Units (RFU), which are used to control power transmission, and provide an interface between antennas and indoor units. They are contained in compact weather-proof enclosures fastened to antennas. Indoor units are connected to outdoor units by standard coaxial or Cat-5 baseband cables.

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All-indoor solutions refer to solutions in which the entire system (indoor unit and RFU) reside in a single rack inside a transmission equipment room. A waveguide connection transports the radio signals to the antenna mounted on a tower. All indoor equipment is typically used in long-haul applications.

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All-outdoor solutions combine the functionality of both the indoor and outdoor units in a single, compact device. This weather-proof enclosure is fastened to an antenna, eliminating the need for rack space or sheltering as well as the need for air conditioning.

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Pointing accuracy solutions for high vibration environments. These are advanced microwave radio systems for use on moving rigs/vessels where the antenna is stabilized in one or two axes, azimuth or azimuth/elevation.

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Antennas are used to transmit and receive microwave radio signals from one side of the wireless link to the other. These devices are mounted on poles typically placed on rooftops, towers or buildings. We rely on third party vendors to supply this component.

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End-to-End Network Management.  Our network management system uses standard management protocol to monitor and control managed devices at both the element and network level and can be easily integrated into our customers’ existing network management systems.

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An antenna, an RFU and an indoor unit comprise a terminal. Two terminals are required to form a radio link, which typically extends across a distance of several miles and can extend across a distance of over 100 miles. The specific distance depends upon the customer’s requirements and chosen modulation scheme, the frequency utilized, the available line of sight, local rain patterns and antenna size. Each link can be controlled by our network management system or can be interfaced to the network management system of the service provider. The systems are available in both split-mount, including an indoor and outdoor unit, all-indoor and all-outdoor installations.

The IP-20 Platform provides a wide range of solutions for any configuration requirement and diverse networking scenarios. Composed of high-density multi-technology nodes and integrated radio units of multiple radio technologies ranging from 4GHz and up to 86GHz, it offers ultra-high capacity of multiple Gbps with flexibility in accommodating for every site providing high performance terminals for all-indoor, split-mount and all-outdoor configurations.

Product
Frequency range
Form Factor
Application
Transport technology
IP-20N / IP-20A
4-86GHz
Split mount / All indoor
Shorthaul, Longhaul
Packet, TDM
IP-20GX
4-86GHz
Split mount / All indoor
Shorthaul
Packet, TDM
IP-20F
4-86GHz
Split mount / All indoor
Shorthaul
Packet, TDM
IP-20G
6-42GHz
Split mount / All indoor
Shorthaul
Packet, TDM
IP-20C
6-42GHz
All outdoor
Shorthaul, small cells, enterprise
Packet
IP-20C-HP
4-11GHz
All outdoor
Longhaul
Packet
IP-20S
6-42GHz
All outdoor
Shorthaul, enterprise
Packet
IP-20E
71-86GHz
All outdoor
Shorthaul, small cells, enterprise
Packet
IP-20V
57-66GHz
All outdoor
Shorthaul, small cells, enterprise
Packet
 
All products serve multiple applications in mobile networks across 3G, 4G and 5G networks, as well as for wireless ISPs, public safety, utility and other vertical applications.

As wireless backhaul capacity needs grow, the wireless backhaul network blueprint evolves to supporting more radio carriers in one box (2 carriers, instead of 1) as a basic configuration, Ceragon is extending its multicore technology to all network scenarios and site configurations be it All-outdoor, Split-mount, or All-indoor. Various multicore radio units can be used with IP-20N and IP-20F products listed above, such as RFU-D and the RFU-D-HP. Other radio units can be used with this equipment or other legacy equipment of the Company. Ceragon also provides E-band radio heads for split mount solutions of IP-20N and IP-20F.

On top of the IP-20 Platform, Ceragon offers the PointLink portfolio that offers a tailored solution for oil and gas and other maritime offshore applications.

Our network management system (NMS) can be used to monitor network element status, provide statistical and inventory reports, download software and configuration to elements in the network, and provide end-to-end service management across the network. Our NMS solutions support all our microwave and millimeter-wave products through a single user interface.

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Our IP-based network products use native IP technology. Our hybrid products use our hybrid concept, which allows them to transmit both native IP and native circuit-switched TDM traffic simultaneously over a single radio link. Native IP refers to systems that are designed to transport IP-based network traffic directly rather than adapting IP-based network traffic to existing circuit-switched systems. This approach increases efficiency and decreases latency. Our products provide effectively seamless migration to gradually evolve the network from an all circuit-switched and hybrid concept to an all IP-based packet.

As telecommunication networks and services become more demanding, there is an increasing need to match the indoor units’ advanced networking capabilities with powerful and efficient radio units. Our outdoor RFUs are designed with sturdiness, power, simplicity, and compatibility in mind. As such, they provide high-power transmission for both short and long distances and can be assembled and installed quickly and easily. The RFUs can operate with different Ceragon indoor units, according to the desired configuration, addressing any network need be it cellular, backbone, rural or private backhaul networks.

Our Services

We are responsible for installing part of the links we ship. We offer complete solutions and services for the design and implementation of telecommunication networks, as well as the expansion or integration of existing ones. We have a global projects and services group that operates alongside our products groups. Under this group we offer our customers a comprehensive set of turn-key services including: advanced network and radio planning, site survey, solutions development, installation, maintenance, training and more. Our services include utilization of powerful project management tools in order to streamline deployments of complex wireless networks, thereby reducing time and costs associated with network set-up, and allowing faster time to revenue. Our experienced teams can deploy hundreds of “wireless backhaul links” every week, and our rollout project track-record includes hundreds of thousands of links already installed and in operation with a variety of Tier 1 operators.

We are committed to providing high levels of service and implementation support to our customers. Our sales and network field engineering services personnel work closely with customers, system integrators and others to coordinate network design and ensure successful deployment of our solutions.

We support our products with documentation and training courses tailored to our customers’ varied needs. We have the capability to remotely monitor the in-network performance of our products and to diagnose and address problems that may arise. We help our customers to integrate our network management system into their existing internal network operations control centers.

Our Customers

We have sold our products through a variety of channels to over 460 service providers as well as to hundreds of private networks in more than 130 countries. Our principal customers are wireless service providers that use our products to expand backhaul network capacity, reduce backhaul costs and support the provision of advanced telecommunications services. In 2017, we continued to maintain our position as the number one wireless backhaul specialist, in terms of unit shipments and global distribution of our business.  While most of our sales are direct, we do reach a number of these customers through OEM or distributor relationships. We also sell systems to large enterprises and public institutions that operate their own private communications networks through system integrators, resellers and distributors. Our customer base is diverse in terms of both size and geographic location.

In 2017, customers from the Europe region contributed 14% of total yearly revenue. Our sales in Latin America and Africa were 18% and 4% of yearly revenue in 2017, respectively. Our sales in Asia Pacific (excluding India), North America and India in 2017 were 13%, 12% and 39%, respectively.

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The following table summarizes the distribution of our revenues by region, stated as a percentage of total revenues for the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017:

   
Year Ended December 31,
 
Region
 
2015
   
2016
   
2017
 
North America
   
13
%
   
14
%
   
12
%
Europe
   
14
%
   
15
%
   
14
%
Africa
   
10
%
   
7
%
   
4
%
India
   
30
%
   
27
%
   
39
%
APAC (excluding India)
   
9
%
   
10
%
   
13
%
Latin America
   
24
%
   
27
%
   
18
%

Sales and Marketing

We sell our products through a variety of channels, including direct sales, OEMs, resellers, distributors and system integrators. Our sales and marketing staff, including supporting functions, includes approximately 465 employees in many countries worldwide, who work together with local agents, distributors and OEMs to expand our business.

We are a supplier to various key OEMs which together accounted for approximately 7% of our revenues in 2017. System integrators, distributors and resellers accounted for approximately 19% of our revenues for 2017. We are focusing our efforts on direct sales, which accounted for approximately 74% of our revenues for 2017. We also plan to develop additional strategic relationships with equipment vendors, system integrators, distributors, resellers, networking companies and other industry suppliers with the goal of gaining greater access to our target markets.

Our marketing efforts include digital marketing campaigns, advertising, public relations and participation in industry trade shows and conferences.
 
Manufacturing and Assembly
 
Our manufacturing process consists of materials planning and procurement, assembly of indoor units and outdoor units, final product assurance testing, quality control and packaging and shipping. With the goal of streamlining all manufacturing and assembly processes, we have implemented an outsourced, just-in-time manufacturing strategy that relies on contract manufacturers to manufacture and assemble circuit boards and other components used in our products and to assemble and test indoor units and outdoor units for us. The use of advanced supply chain techniques has enabled us to increase our manufacturing capacity, reduce our manufacturing costs and improve our efficiency.

We outsource most of our manufacturing operations to major contract manufacturers in Israel, Singapore and Ukraine. On March 18, 2015, we signed a contract with a certain contract manufacturer to outsource our production facility in Slovakia and the production transfer to that manufacturer in Ukraine was carried out during 2015.  Additionally, in December 2017 we closed our manufacturing activities in the Philippines. Most of our warehouse operations are outsourced to subcontractors in Israel, the Netherlands, USA and Singapore. The raw materials (components) for our products come primarily from the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific.

We comply with standards promulgated by the International Organization for Standardization and have received certification under the ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001 and OHSAS 18001 standards. These standards define the procedures required for the manufacture of products with predictable and stable performance and quality, as well as environmental guidelines for our operations and safety assurance.

 
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Our activities in Europe require that we comply with European Union Directives with respect to product quality assurance standards and environmental standards including the “RoHS” (Restrictions of Hazardous Substances) Directive.

Research and Development

We place considerable emphasis on research and development to improve and expand the capabilities of our existing products, to develop new products, with particular emphasis on equipment for increasing the transmitted capacity and effective bandwidth utilization, and to lower the cost of producing both existing and future products. We intend to continue to devote a significant portion of our personnel and financial resources to research and development. As part of our product development process, we maintain close relationships with our customers to identify market needs and to define appropriate product specifications. In addition, we intend to continue to comply with industry standards and we are full members of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute in order to participate in the formulation of European standards.

Our research and development activities are conducted mainly at our facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel, but also at our subsidiaries in Greece and Romania. As of December 31, 2017, our research, development and engineering staff consisted of 218 employees. Our research and development team includes highly specialized engineers and technicians with expertise in the fields of millimeter-wave design, modem and signal processing, data communications, system management and networking solutions.

Our research and development department provides us with the ability to design and develop most of the aspects of our proprietary solutions, from the chip-level, including both application specific integrated circuits, or ASICs and RFICs, to full system integration. Our research and development projects currently in process include extensions to our leading IP-based networking product lines and development of new technologies to support future product concepts. In addition, our engineers continually work to redesign our products with the goal of improving their manufacturability and testability while reducing costs.

Intellectual Property

To safeguard our proprietary technology, we rely on a combination of patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret laws, confidentiality agreements and other contractual arrangements with our customers, third-party distributors, consultants and employees, each of which affords only limited protection. We have a policy which requires all of our employees to execute employment agreements which contain confidentiality provisions.

To date, we have 17 patents granted in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions including the EPO (European Patent Office) and 5 patent applications pending in the United States and other foreign jurisdictions including the EPO.

We have registered trademarks as follows:

·
for the standard character mark Ceragon Networks and our logo in the United States, Israel, and the European Union;
 
·
for the standard character mark Ceragon Networks in Canada;
 
·
for the standard character mark CERAGON in Morocco, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Israel, Mexico, United States, South Africa, the Philippines, Argentina, Venezuela and Colombia and International Registration (protection granted in Australia, Iceland, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Switzerland, Croatia, Norway, Russia, China, Ukraine, CTM (European Union), Turkey, Singapore, and Macedonia);
 
·
for our design mark for FibeAir in the United States, Israel and the European Union;
 
·
for the standard character mark FibeAir in the United States;
 
·
for the standard character mark CeraView in Israel and the European Union.
 
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We have pending trademark applications as follows:

·
for the standard character mark CERAGON in India, Peru, Canada, Nigeria, and International Registration (protection pending in Egypt, Kenya and Vietnam).

Competition

The market for wireless equipment is rapidly evolving, fragmented, highly competitive and subject to rapid technological change. We expect competition, which may differ from region to region, to persist, intensify and increase in the future - especially if rapid technological developments occur in the broadband wireless equipment industry or in other competing high-speed access technologies.

We compete with a number of wireless equipment providers worldwide that vary in size and in the types of products and solutions they offer. Our primary competitors include large wireless equipment manufacturers referred to as generalists, such as Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., L.M. Ericsson Telephone Company, NEC Corporation, Nokia and ZTE Corporation. In addition to these primary competitors, a number of other smaller wireless backhaul equipment suppliers, including Aviat Networks, and SIAE Microelectronica S.p.A offer or develop products that compete with our products.

We also expect consolidation to continue as the wireless equipment market continues to be highly competitive and, as a result, we face strong price pressures. We expect to continue to be a leader in the best-of-breed segment of the wireless backhaul market in terms of market share, technology and innovation, providing significant value to our customers.

We expect that continued market pressures will drive further consolidation within equipment manufacturers competing with us and which focus solely on the best-of-breed segment of the wireless backhaul market. Examples of such previous consolidations are our acquisition of Nera Network AS in 2011 (the “Nera Acquisition”), the acquisition by Dragonwave of the wireless division of Nokia (formerly NSN), and the merger of the wireless divisions of Harris and Stratex Networks.

We expect further consolidations will take place within the generalists; the most recent is the merger between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, while Nokia itself is the result of a previous joint venture between Nokia and Siemens, and Alcatel-Lucent is the result of a previous merger between Alcatel and Lucent.

Further market consolidations among industry generalists may drive some operators, which seek best-of-breed solutions, to seek “bundled” network solutions from these generalists. This trend may put an additional strain on our competitiveness.
 
We believe we compete favorably on the basis of:

·
our focus on the mobile market and active involvement in shaping next generation standards and technologies, which deliver best customer value;
 
·
product performance, reliability and functionality, which assist our customers to achieve the highest value;
 
·
range and maturity of product portfolio, including the ability to provide solutions in every widely available microwave and millimeter-wave licensed and license-exempt frequency, as well as our ability to provide both circuit switch and IP solutions and therefore to facilitate a migration path for circuit-switched to IP-based networks;
 
·
cost structure;
 
·
focus on high-capacity, point-to-point microwave technology, which allows us to quickly adapt to our customers’ evolving needs;
 
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·
range of rollout services offering for faster deployment of an entire network and reduced total cost of ownership;
 
·
support and technical service, experience and commitment to high quality customer service, and
 
·
our ability to expand to other vertical markets such as oil and gas and public safety, by drawing upon the capabilities of our technologies and solutions.
 
Our products also indirectly compete with other high-speed communications solutions, including fiber optic lines and other wireless technologies.

The Israel Innovation Authority.

The government of Israel encourages research and development projects in Israel through the IIA - Israel Innovation Authority, formerly known as the Israeli Office of Chief Scientist, pursuant to and subject to the provisions of the R&D Law. We received grants from the IIA for several projects, and may receive additional grants in the future.
 
Under the terms of the certain grants, a company may be required to pay royalties ranging between 3% to 6% of the revenues generated from its products or services incorporating know-how developed with, or are a derivative of, funds received from the IIA (“IIA Products”), until 100% of the dollar value of the grant is repaid (plus LIBOR interest applicable to grants received on or after January 1, 1999).
 
The R&D Law requires that the manufacturing of IIA Products will be carried out in Israel, unless the IIA provides its approval to the contrary. Such approval may only be granted under various conditions, and entails repayment of increased royalties equal to up to 300% of the total grant amount, plus applicable interest, depending on the extent of the manufacturing that is to be conducted outside of Israel. In any case, IIA Products manufactured abroad carry  an increase of 1% in the royalty rate.

The R&D Law also provides that know-how (and its derivatives) developed with, or is a derivative of, funds received from the IIA and any right derived therefrom may not be transferred to third parties, unless such transfer was approved in accordance with the R&D Law. The research committee operating under the IIA may approve the transfer of know-how between Israeli entities, provided that the transferee undertakes all the obligations in connection with the R&D grant as prescribed under the R&D Law. In certain cases, such research committee may also approve a transfer of know-how outside of Israel, in both cases subject to the receipt of certain payments, calculated according to a formula set forth in the R&D Law, in amounts of up to six (6) times the total amount of the IIA grants, plus applicable interest (in case of transfer outside of Israel), and three (3) times of such total amount, plus applicable interest, (in case sufficient R&D activity related to the know how remains in Israel). Such approvals are not required for the sale or export of any products resulting from such R&D activity.
 
Further, the R&D Law imposes reporting requirements on certain companies with respect to changes in the ownership of a grant recipient. The grant recipient, its controlling shareholders, and foreign interested parties of such companies must notify the IIA of any change in control of the grant’s recipient or the holdings of the “means of control” of the recipient that result in an Israeli or a non-Israeli becoming an interested party directly in the recipient. The R&D Law also requires the new interested party to undertake to comply with the R&D Law.   For this purpose, “control” means the ability to direct the activities of a company (other than any ability arising solely from serving as an officer or director of the company), including the holding of 25% or more of the “means of control”, if no other shareholder holds 50% or more of such “means of control.”  “Means of control” refer to voting rights or the right to appoint directors or the chief executive officer. An “interested party” of a company includes a holder of 5% or more of its outstanding share capital or voting rights, its chief executive officer and directors, someone who has the right to appoint its chief executive officer or at least one director, and a company with respect to which any of the foregoing interested parties owns 25% or more of the outstanding share capital or voting rights or has the right to appoint 25% or more of the directors.  Accordingly, in certain cases, any non-Israeli who acquires 5% or more of our ordinary shares may be required to notify the IIA that it has become an interested party and to sign an undertaking to comply with the R&D Law. In addition, the rules of the IIA may require additional information or representations with respect to such events.

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In December 2006, we entered into an agreement with the IIA to conclude our R&D grants sponsored by the IIA, and by 2008 completed paying all debts remaining therefrom. In 2013 and 2014 we received approval for new R&D grants from the Government of Israel through the IIA in amounts of approximately $0.7 million and $0.9 million respectively. In 2015, 2016 and 2017 we received grants in a total amount for the three years, of approximately $2.1 million (together the "Generic Plan"). In 2018, we received approval for an additional Generic Plan, in the frame of which we expect to receive $0.46 million. The Generic Plan requires us to comply with the requirements of the R&D Law in the same manner applicable to previous grants, provided, however, that the obligation to pay royalties on sales of products based on technology or know how developed with the Generic Plan does not apply to us, but may apply, under certain conditions, to a recipient of the technology or knowhow developed with the Generic Plan, to the extent such is sold and/or transferred. In addition, we may manufacture part of the products developed under the program outside of Israel, up to the percentages declared in our applications for such grants.

In addition to the grants described above, in March 2014, we agreed to participate in two “Magnet” Consortium Programs (the “Magnet Programs”) sponsored by the IIA, which grants do not bear royalty payment obligations. In the framework of the Magnet Programs, intended to support innovative generic industry-oriented technologies, we are to cooperate with additional companies and research institutes. With respect to the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 we received an approval from the IIA for a sum of $3.8 million in the aggregate under the Magnet Programs. In 2018 we expect to receive additional sum of approximately $0.88 million, subject to our compliance with the terms of the Magnet Programs. The R&D Law applies to the Magnet Programs, including the restrictions on transfer of know how or manufacturing outside of Israel, as described above. In addition, certain restrictions resulting from Magnet Programs' internal agreements between the consortium members may apply.

C. Organizational Structure
 
We are an Israeli company that commenced operations in 1996. The following is a list of our significant subsidiaries:
 
Company
 
Place of Incorporation
 
Ownership Interest
 
           
Ceragon Networks, Inc.
 
New Jersey
   
100
%
             
Ceragon Networks (India) Private Limited
 
India
   
100
%
 
D. Property, Plants and Equipment
 
Our corporate headquarters and principal administrative, finance and operations departments are located at a leased facility of approximately 67,500 square feet of office space and approximately 9,300 square feet of warehouse space, in Tel Aviv, Israel.  The leases of this space will expire December 31, 2019.
 
We also lease the following space at the following properties:
 
·
in the United States, we lease approximately 5,300 square feet of new premises in Overlook at Great Notch, New Jersey, expiring September, 2021 and approximately 8,200 square feet of office and warehouse space in Richardson, Texas, expiring March 2024. 
 
·
in India, we lease approximately 11,700 square feet of office space in New Delhi, expiring in October 2019.
 
·
in Romania, we lease approximately 20,000 square feet of office and space in Bucharest, Romania, expiring in November 2020.
 
We also lease space for other local subsidiaries to conduct pre-sales and marketing activities in their respective regions.
 
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ITEM 4A.       UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 5.          OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS
 
The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements, the notes to those financial statements, and other financial data that appear elsewhere in this annual report. In addition to historical information, the following discussion contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of certain events may differ significantly from those projected in such forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those set forth in “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this annual report. Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in conformity with U.S. GAAP.

A.
Operating Results

Overview

We are the number one wireless backhaul specialist in terms of unit shipments and global distribution of our business.  We provide wireless backhaul solutions that enable cellular operators and other wireless service providers to deliver mobile broadband services.  Our wireless backhaul solutions use microwave and millimeter wave technology to transfer large amounts of telecommunication traffic between base stations and small-cells and the core of the service provider’s network.

We also provide our solutions to other non-carrier vertical markets such as oil and gas companies, public safety network operators, businesses and public institutions, broadcasters, energy utilities and others that operate their own private communications networks. Our solutions are deployed by more than 460 service providers, as well as hundreds of private network owners, in more than 130 countries.

Industry Trends

Market trends have placed, and will continue to place, pressure on the selling prices for our products. Our objective is to continue to meet the demand for our solutions while at the same time increasing our profitability. We seek to achieve this objective by constantly reviewing and improving our execution in, among others, development, manufacturing and sales and marketing. Set forth below is a more detailed discussion of the trends affecting our business:

·
Deployments of Gigabit-LTE as an interim phase ahead of 5G deployment. This enables enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services.

·
A growing number of global wireless subscribers. Growth in the number of global wireless subscribers is driven by the availability of inexpensive cellular phones and more affordable wireless service, particularly in developing countries and emerging markets, and is being addressed by expanding wireless networks and by building new networks. Additionally, in developed countries, subscriber growth is expected over the next several years as 4G gigabit LTE deployments intensify and 5G deployments initiate, and machines and IoT devices are expected to drive the introduction of new services and bring for proliferation of 1,000 fold of service connections from these subscribed devices.

·
Increasing demand for mobile broadband services. Cellular operators and other wireless service providers are facing increasing demand from subscribers to deliver voice and data services, including Internet browsing, music and video applications.

·
The emergence of small cells in particular markets (North America, Asia Pacific) present wireless backhaul challenges that differ from those of traditional macro-cells. Small cells architectures can be used to provide a second layer of coverage in 4G and, in the future, 5G networks, resulting in higher throughput and data rates for the end-user. While adoption by some service providers in North America and Asia Pacific, other service providers around the globe and which have previously considered the deployment of 4G small cells have come to the conclusion that the benefit of additional coverage and capacity versus the required investment, does not provide significant value and hence have deferred the consideration of small cells radio access network to a time in which 5G radio access networks shall be considered.

40

·
Transition to IP-based networks. Cellular operators and other wireless service providers are deploying all-IP networks and upgrading their infrastructure to interface with an IP-based core network in order to increase network efficiency, lower operating costs and more effectively deliver high-bandwidth data services.

·
Software Defined Networking (SDN) deliver network architectures that transition networks from a world of task-specific dedicated equipment elements, to a world of service creation and optimization of network performance through network intelligence.

·
Network sharing business models are being adopted by mobile network operators (MNOs) who are faced with increasing competition from over-the-top players and an ever-growing capacity crunch. Network sharing can be particularly effective in the backhaul portion of mobile networks, especially as conventional macro cells evolve into super-sized macro sites that require exponentially more bandwidth for backhaul.

We are also experiencing pressure on our sale prices as a result of several factors:

·
Increased competition. Our target market is characterized by vigorous, worldwide competition for market share and rapid technological development. These factors have resulted in aggressive pricing practices and downward pricing pressures, and growing competition from both start-up companies and well-capitalized telecommunication systems providers.

·
Regional pricing pressures. A significant portion of our sales derives from India, in response to the rapid build-out of cellular networks in this country. For the years ended December 31, 2015, 2016 and 2017, 30.3%, 27.3% and 39.2%, respectively, of our revenues were earned in India. Sales of our products in these markets are generally at lower gross margins in comparison to other regions.  Recently, network operators have started to share parts of their network infrastructure through cooperation agreements, which may adversely affect demand for network equipment.

·
Transaction size. Competition for larger equipment orders is increasingly intensifying due to the fact that the number of large equipment orders in any year is limited. Consequently, we generally experience greater pricing pressure when we compete for larger orders as a result of this increased competition and demand from purchasers for greater volume discounts. As an increasing portion of our revenues is derived from large orders, we believe that our business will be more susceptible to these pressures.

As we continue to focus on operational improvements, these price pressures may have a negative impact on our gross margins.

As we continue to adjust our geographic footprint, we are increasingly engaged in supplying installation and other services for our customers, often in emerging markets. In this context, we may act as the prime contractor and equipment supplier for network build-out projects, providing installation, supervision and commissioning services required for these projects, or we may provide such services and equipment for projects handled by system integrators. In such cases, we typically bear the risks of loss and damage to our products until the customer has issued an acceptance certificate upon successful completion of acceptance tests. If our products are damaged or stolen, or if the network we install does not pass the acceptance tests, the end user or the system integrator, as the case may be, could delay payment to us and we would incur substantial costs, including fees owed to our installation subcontractors, increased insurance premiums, transportation costs and expenses related to repairing or manufacturing the products. Moreover, in such a case, we may not be able to repossess the equipment, thus suffering additional losses.  Also, these projects are rollout projects, which involve fixed-price contracts. We assume greater financial risks on fixed-price projects, which routinely involve the provision of installation and other services, versus short-term projects, which do not similarly require us to provide services or require customer acceptance certificates in order for us to recognize revenue.
          
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After a significant decrease in our revenues in 2013 compared to 2012, there were no material differences in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, our revenues decreased due to the strategy we implemented in order to accelerate our return to profitability, which included: managing the revenue mix more carefully, seeking revised pricing, payment and other terms in certain new orders and our business focus on service providers that seek to resolve their wireless backhaul challenges through solutions, which create higher business value and are willing to pay a premium in order to create this value. In 2017, revenues increased mainly due to an increase in the business from our customers in India and to a lesser extent an expansion of our business in the rest of APAC.

Results of Operations

Revenues. We generate revenues primarily from the sale of our products, and, to a lesser extent, services. The final price to the customer may largely vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the size of a given transaction, the geographic location of the customer, the specific application for which products are sold, the channel through which products are sold, the competitive environment and the results of negotiation.

Cost of Revenues. Our cost of revenues consists primarily of the prices we pay contract manufacturers for the products they manufacture for us, the costs of off the shelf parts, accessories and antennas, the costs of our manufacturing facility, estimated warranty costs, costs related to management of our manufacturing facility, supply chain and shipping, as well as inventory write-off costs and amortization of intangible assets. In addition, we pay salaries and related costs to our employees and fees to subcontractors relating to installation services with respect to our products.

Significant Expenses

Research and Development Expenses. Our research and development expenses consist primarily of salaries and related costs for research and development personnel, subcontractors’ costs, costs of materials and depreciation of equipment. All of our research and development costs are expensed as incurred, except for development expenses, which were capitalized in accordance with ASC 985-20 “Software – Costs of Software to be Sold, Leased, or Marketed”. We believe that continued investment in research and development is essential to attaining our strategic objectives.

Selling and Marketing Expenses. Our selling and marketing expenses consist primarily of compensation and related costs for sales marketing and sales support functions personnel, amortization of intangible assets, trade show and exhibit expenses, travel expenses, commissions and promotional materials.

General and Administrative Expenses. Our general and administrative expenses consist primarily of compensation and related costs for executive, finance, information system and human resources personnel, professional fees (including legal and accounting fees), insurance, provisions for doubtful accounts and other general corporate expenses.
 
Financial Income (expenses), net. Our financial income (expenses), net, consists primarily of interest paid on bank debts, gains and losses arising from the re-measurement of transactions and balances denominated in non-dollar currencies into dollars, gains and losses from our currency hedging activity, and other fees and commissions paid to banks, offset by interest earned on bank deposits and marketable securities.

Taxes. Our tax expenses consist of current corporate tax expenses in various locations and changes in tax deferred assets and liabilities, as well as reserves for uncertain tax positions.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates

Our consolidated financial statements are prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the U.S (“U.S. GAAP”). These accounting principles require management to make certain estimates, judgments and assumptions based upon information available at the time they are made, historical experience and various other factors that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances. These estimates, judgments and assumptions can affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities as of the date of the financial statements, as well as the reported amounts of revenues and expenses during the periods presented.

42

Our management believes the accounting policies that affect its more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of its consolidated financial statements and which are the most critical to aid in fully understanding and evaluating our reported financial results include the following:

·
Revenue recognition;
 
·
Inventory valuation; and
 
·
Provision for doubtful accounts.

Revenue recognition. We generate revenues from selling products and services to end users, distributors, system integrators and original equipment manufacturers (“OEM”).

Revenues from product sales are recognized in accordance with ASC topic 605-10, “Revenue Recognition” and with ASC 605-25 “Multiple-Element Arrangements” (“ASC 605”), when delivery has occurred, persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the vendor's fee is fixed or determinable, no future obligation exists and collectability is probable.

In case the sale is subject to a right of return, we record a provision for estimated sale returns and stock rotation granted to customers on products in the same period the related revenues are recorded in accordance with ASC 605. These estimates are based on historical sale returns, stock rotations and other known factors.

Pursuant to the guidance of ASU 605-25, “Multiple Deliverable Revenue Arrangements,” when a sales arrangement contains multiple elements, such as equipment and services, we allocate revenues to each element based on a selling price hierarchy. The selling price for a deliverable is based on its vendor specific objective evidence (‘‘VSOE’’) if available, third party evidence (‘‘TPE’’) if VSOE is not available, or estimated selling price (‘‘ESP’’) if neither VSOE nor TPE is available. In multiple element arrangements, revenues are allocated to each separate unit of accounting for each of the deliverables using the relative estimated selling prices of each of the deliverables in the arrangement based on the aforementioned selling price hierarchy.

In certain arrangements, we consider the sale of equipment and its installation to be two separate units of accounting in the arrangement in which the installation is not essential to the functionality of the equipment, the equipment has value to the customer on a standalone basis and whenever the arrangement does not include a general right of return relative to the delivered item or delivery or performance of the undelivered item(s) is considered probable and substantially in the control of the Company. In such an arrangement, revenues from the sale of equipment are recognized upon delivery if all other revenue recognition criteria are met, and the installation revenues are deferred to the period in which such installation occurs (but not less than the amount contingent upon completion of installation, if any) using relative selling prices of each of the deliverables based on the aforementioned selling price hierarchy.

We determine the selling price in our multiple-element arrangements by reviewing historical transactions, and considering internal factors including, but not limited to, pricing practices (including discounting), margin objectives and competition. The determination of ESP is made through consultation with management, taking into consideration the pricing model and strategy.

When sale arrangements include a customer acceptance provision, revenue is recognized when we demonstrate that the criteria specified in the acceptance provision has been satisfied or as the acceptance provision has lapsed and deemed to be attained.

To assess the probability of collection for revenue recognition purposes, we analyze historical collection experience, current economic trends and the financial position of our customers. On the basis of these criteria, we conclude whether revenue recognition should be deferred and recognized on a cash basis.

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When applicable, the Company records a provision for estimated sale returns, stock rotation and credits granted to customers on products in the same period the related revenues are recorded in accordance with ASC 605. These estimates are based on historical sales returns, stock rotations and other known factors.

Deferred revenue includes unearned amounts received in our arrangements, and amounts received from customers but not recognized as revenues due to the fact that these transactions did not meet the revenue recognition criteria.

Inventory valuation. Our inventories are stated at the lower of cost or realizable net value. Cost is determined by using the moving average cost method. At each balance sheet date, we evaluate our inventory balance for excess quantities and obsolescence. This evaluation includes an analysis of slow-moving items and sales levels by product and projections of future demand. If needed, we write off inventories that are considered obsolete or excessive. If future demand or market conditions are less favorable than our projections, additional inventory write-downs may be required and would be reflected in cost of revenues in the period the revision is made.

Provision for doubtful accounts. We perform ongoing credit evaluations of our trade receivables and maintain an allowance for doubtful accounts, based upon our judgment as to our ability to collect outstanding receivables. Allowance for doubtful accounts is made based upon a specific review of all the overdue outstanding invoices. In determining the provisions, we analyze our historical collection experience, current economic trends, the financial position of our customers and the payment guarantees (such as letters of credit) that we receive from our customers. We also insure certain trade receivables under credit insurance policies. If the financial condition of our customers deteriorates, resulting in their inability to make payments, additional allowances might be required. Historically, our provision for doubtful accounts has been sufficient to account for our bad debts.

Impairment of Long-Lived Assets. Our long-lived assets include property and equipment, and other identifiable intangible assets that are subject to amortization. In assessing the recoverability of our property and equipment and other identifiable intangible assets that are held and used, we make judgments regarding whether impairment indicators exist based on legal factors, market conditions and operating performances. Future events could cause us to conclude that impairment indicators exist and that the carrying values of the property and equipment and other intangible assets are impaired. Any resulting impairment loss could have a material adverse impact on our financial position and results of operations.

Our long-lived assets are reviewed for impairment in accordance with ASC topic 360,"Property Plant and Equipment", ("ASC 360"), whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount of an asset may not be recoverable. Recoverability of assets to be held and used is measured by a comparison of the carrying amount of an asset to the future undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated by the asset. If an asset is considered to be impaired, the impairment to be recognized is measured by the amount by which the carrying amount of the asset exceeds its fair value. During 2015, 2016 and 2017, no impairment losses have been recognized.

Impact of recently issued Accounting Standards.

In May 2014, the FASB issued ASU No. 2014-09, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606)” (ASU 2014-09) as modified by ASU No. 2015-14, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers (Topic 606): Topic 606 supersedes the revenue recognition requirements in Accounting Standards Codification Topic 605, “Revenue Recognition”, and requires entities to recognize revenue when they transfer control of promised goods or services to customers in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled to in exchange for those goods or services. The Company will adopt the new standard effective of January 1, 2018, using the modified retrospective approach, applied only to contracts that were not completed as of the date of adoption.

Under the Company's current accounting policy, it defers certain revenues when it had a contingent revenue. Under Topic 606, the Company assesses the revenue amount it entitled to upon completing its performance obligation, taking into consideration variable considerations. As a result of the cumulative impact of adopting the new guidance in the first quarter of 2018, the Company expects to record a net increase to opening retained earnings of approximately $91 thousand as of January 1, 2018, an increase in trade receivables of approximately $131 thousand and an increase in trade payables of approximately $40 thousand.

44

In February 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-02, “Leases”, on the recognition, measurement, presentation and disclosure of leases for both parties to a contract (i.e., lessees and lessors). The new standard requires lessees to apply a dual approach, classifying leases as either finance or operating leases based on the principle of whether or not the lease is effectively a financed purchase by the lessee. This classification will determine whether lease expense is recognized based on an effective interest method or on a straight line basis over the term of the lease, respectively. A lessee is also required to record a right-of-use asset and a lease liability for all leases with a term of greater than 12 months regardless of their classification. Leases with a term of 12 months or less will be accounted for in a manner similar to the accounting under existing guidance for operating leases today. The new standard requires lessors to account for leases using an approach that is substantially equivalent to existing guidance for sales-type leases, direct financing leases and operating leases. ASC 842 supersedes the previous leases standard, ASC 840, "Leases". The guidance is effective for the interim and annual periods beginning on or after December 15, 2018, and early adoption is permitted.  The Company is currently assessing the impact of the adoption of this standard on its consolidated financial statements and footnote disclosures.

Effective as of December 15, 2016, the Company adopted Accounting Standards Update 2016-09, “Compensation—Stock Compensation (Topic 718)” (“ASU 2016-09”). ASU 2016-09 permits entities to make an accounting policy election related to how forfeitures will impact the recognition of compensation cost for stock-based compensation: to estimate the total number of awards for which the requisite service period will not be rendered or to account for forfeitures as they occur. Upon adoption of ASU 2016-09, the Company elected to continue to estimate forfeitures expected to occur to determine the amount of compensation cost to be recognized in each period, thus no change was made in connection with ASU 2016-09 adoption.

In August 2016, FASB issued ASU 2016-15, Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230) Classification of Certain Cash Receipts and Cash Payments. ASU 2016-15 eliminates the diversity in practice related to the classification of certain cash receipts and payments for debt prepayment or extinguishment costs, the maturing of a zero coupon bond, the settlement of contingent liabilities arising from a business combination, proceeds from insurance settlements, distributions from certain equity method investees and beneficial interests obtained in a financial asset securitization.
 
ASU 2016-15 designates the appropriate cash flow classification, including requirements to allocate certain components of these cash receipts and payments among operating, investing and financing activities. The retrospective transition method, requiring adjustment to all comparative periods presented, is required unless it is impracticable for some of the amendments, in which case those amendments would be prospectively as of the earliest date practicable. The standard is effective for the interim and annual periods beginning on or after December 15, 2017. This new guidance does not have a material impact on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.

In November 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-18, “Statement of Cash Flows (Topic 230): Restricted Cash”, which requires companies to include amounts generally described as restricted cash and restricted cash equivalents in cash and cash equivalents when reconciling beginning-of-period and end-of-period total amounts shown on the statement of cash flows. This ASU is effective for the interim and annual periods beginning on or after December 15, 2017. The Company has decided to adopt this standard effective December 31, 2017 using the retrospective transition method, as required by the new standard. The adoption of this standard has an immaterial impact on the Company’s consolidated statements of cash flows.
 
In August 2017, the FASB issued ASU 2017-12, Derivatives and Hedging (Topic 815): Targeted Improvements to Accounting for Hedging Activities, which expands the activities that qualify for hedge accounting and simplifies the rules for reporting hedging transactions. The standard is effective for the interim and annual periods beginning on or after December 15, 2018. Early adoption is permitted. The Company is currently in the process of evaluating the impact of this new pronouncement on its consolidated financial statements and related disclosures.
 
45

Comparison of Period to Period Results of Operations

The following table presents consolidated statement of operations data for the periods indicated as a percentage of total revenues.
 
 
Year Ended December 31
 
 
2015
   
2016
   
2017
 
Revenues
   
100
%
   
100
%
   
100
%
Cost of revenues
   
70.5
     
66.2
     
67.7
 
Gross profit
   
29.5
     
33.8
     
32.3
 
Operating expenses:
                       
Research and development, net
   
6.6
     
7.4
     
7.7
 
Selling and marketing
   
11.7
     
13.5
     
12.5
 
General and administrative
   
6.1
     
6.9
     
5.6
 
Restructuring costs
   
0.4
     
-
     
-
 
Other income
   
(1.5
)
   
(0.7
)
   
(0.5
)
Total operating expenses
   
23.3
     
27.1
     
25.3
 
Operating income
   
6.2
     
6.7
     
7.0
 
Financial expenses, net
   
4.2
     
2.1
     
1.8
 
Taxes on income
   
1.7
     
0.6
     
0.5
 
Net income
   
0.3
     
4.0
     
4.7
 

Year ended December 31, 2016 compared to year ended December 31, 2017
 
Revenues. Revenues totaled $332.0 million in 2017 as compared with $293.6 million in 2016, an increase of $38.4 million, or 13.1%. Revenues in India increased to $130.0 million in 2017 from $80.2 million in 2016, mainly due to large orders received from two major customers. Revenues in the Africa region decreased to $12.1 million in 2017, from $19.9 million in 2016 primarily due to the decline in the economic condition in the continent, mainly attributed to the global decline in commodity and oil prices which has caused a reduced demand for telecommunications infrastructure. Revenues in the APAC region increased to $45.0 million in 2017 from $29.7 million in 2016, mainly as a result of expending business with existing customers and new customers. Revenues in Europe increased to $45.4 million in 2017 from $43.5 million in 2016. Revenues in North America decreased to $39.5 million in 2017 from $40.2 million in 2016. Revenues in Latin America decreased to $60.0 million in 2017 from $80.1 million in 2016, mainly due to a slow-down in microwave roll out activities of one of our customers.

Cost of Revenues. Cost of revenues totaled $224.7 million in 2017 as compared with $194.5 million in 2016, an increase of $30.2 million, or 15.5%, attributed mainly to:

·
higher direct material and services costs primarily resulting from the higher volume of revenues; and
 
·
higher other direct and supply chain costs primarily resulting from the higher volume of revenues.
 
Gross Profit.  Gross profit as a percentage of revenues decreased to 32.3% in 2017 from 33.8% in 2016. This decrease is mainly attributed to higher portion of revenue coming from India.
 
Research and Development Expenses, Net. Our net research and development expenses totaled $25.7 million in 2017 as compared with $21.7 million in 2016, an increase of $4.0 million, or 18.5% primarily as a result of an increase of $1.8 million in salary and salary related expenses, a decrease of $1.0 million in IIA (Israel Innovation Authority) grants, an increase of $0.8 million in material purchasing for R&D purposes, and an increase of $0.4 million in depreciation, office expenses and other expenses.
 
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Our research and development efforts are a key element of our strategy and are essential to our success. We intend to maintain or slightly increase our commitment to research and development, and an increase or a decrease in our total revenue would not necessarily result in a proportional increase or decrease in the levels of our research and development expenditures. As a percentage of revenues, research and development expenses increased to 7.7% in 2017 compared to 7.4% in 2016.
 
Selling and Marketing Expenses. Selling and marketing expenses totaled $41.7 million in 2017 as compared with $39.5 million 2016, an increase of $2.2 million, or 5.3%, resulting mainly from an increase of $2.4 million in agent commission expenses, an increase of $0.7 million in salary and salary related expenses, an increase $0.6 million in sales commission expenses, partially offset by decrease of $0.9 million in consultancy expenses and a decrease of $0.6 million in office and other expenses. As a percentage of revenues, selling and marketing expenses were decreased to 12.5% in 2017 from 13.5% in 2016.

General and Administrative Expenses. General and administrative expenses totaled $18.6 million in 2017 as compared with $20.4 million in 2016, a decrease of $1.8 million, or 8.9%. This decrease is attributable primarily to a decrease of $3.2 million in doubtful debt expenses, partially offset by an increase in of $1.1 million in salary and salary-related expenses and an increase of $0.4 million in office and other expenses. As a percentage of revenues, general and administrative expenses decreased to 5.6% in 2017 from 6.9% in 2016.

Other income. Other income for 2016 and 2017 included $1.9 million and $1.7 million, respectively, related to the expiration of certain pre-acquisition indirect tax exposures primarily in connection with the Nera Acquisition.

Financial expenses, Net. Financial expenses, net totaled $5.9 million in 2017 as compared with $6.3 million in 2016, a decrease of $0.4 million, or 6.6%. This decrease is primarily attributable to a decrease of $1.6 million in financial expenses incurred from exchange rate differences related to significant devaluation of the local currencies in Argentina, Venezuela and Nigeria during 2016, partially offset by an increase of $0.9 million in bank commissions and interest expenses related to letter of credit charges and an increase in discounting activities. As a percentage of revenues, financial expenses, net decreased to 1.8% in 2017 compared to 2.1% in 2016.

Taxes on income. Taxes on income totaled $1.7 million in 2017 as compared with $1.8 million in 2016, a decrease of $0.1 million, mainly attributed to an increase in tax benefits of $1.0 million related to changes in our tax exposures reserves, partially offset by an increase of $0.7 million in taxes from previous years mainly related to a withholding tax asset which was expensed in 2017, and an increase of $0.2 million in our current taxes on income, primarily due to our sales and distribution subsidiaries.

Net profit. In 2017 the Company had $15.6 million in net profit as compared with net profit of $11.4 million in 2016. As a percentage of revenues, net profit increased to 4.7% compared to 3.9% in 2016. The increase in net profit was mainly attributable to the increase in our revenues that drove the increase in gross profit and the decrease in our financial and tax expenses.

Year ended December 31, 2015 compared to year ended December 31, 2016
 
Revenues. Revenues totaled $293.6 million in 2016 as compared with $349.4 million in 2015, a decrease of $55.8 million, or 16.0%. Revenues in India decreased to $80.2 million in 2016 from $106.0 million in 2015 mainly due to a completion of a significant rollout phase in the network of one of our customers. Revenues in the Africa region decreased to $19.9 million in 2016, from $35.0 million in 2015 primarily due to a slowdown in microwave solutions procurement of a customer group in this region. The global decline in commodity and oil prices have led to a decline in economic growth in the African continent, reducing demand for telecommunications infrastructure. Revenues in the APAC region decreased to $29.7 million in 2016 from $31.9 million in 2015. Revenues in Europe decreased to $43.5 million in 2016 from $48.6 million in 2015. Revenues in North America decreased to $40.2 million in 2016 from $45.9 million in 2015. Revenues in Latin America decreased to $80.1 million in 2016 from $82.3 million in 2015.

47

Cost of Revenues. Cost of revenues totaled $194.5 million in 2016 as compared with $246.5 million in 2015, a decrease of $52.0 million, or 21%, attributed mainly to:

·
lower direct material and services costs primarily resulting from lower volume of revenues;
 
·
lower other direct and supply chain costs primarily resulting from lower volume of revenues; and
 
·
the Company’s continued product-cost improvement.
 
Gross Profit.  Gross profit as a percentage of revenues increased to 33.8% in 2016 from 29.5% in 2015. This increase is mainly attributed to product cost improvement as well as pursuing a more selective deal approach.
 
Research and Development Expenses, Net. Our net research and development expenses totaled $21.7 million in 2016 as compared with $22.9 million in 2015, a decrease of $1.2 million, or 5.4% primarily as a result of decrease of $0.8 million in depreciation expenses, an increase of $0.8 million in IIA (Israel Innovation Authority)grants, a decrease of $0.6 million in stock based compensation expenses, partially offset by an increase of $1.0 million in salary and salary related expenses.
 
As a percentage of revenues, research and development expenses increased to 7.4% in 2016 compared to 6.6% in 2015.
 
Selling and Marketing Expenses. Selling and marketing expenses totaled $39.5 million in 2016 as compared with $40.8 million 2015, a decrease of $1.3 million, or 3.2%, resulting mainly from a decrease of $0.9 million in office expenses, a decrease of $0.6 million in depreciation expenses, a decrease of $0.3 million in travel expenses, partially offset by an increase of $0.5 million in salary and salary related expenses. As a percentage of revenues, selling and marketing expenses were increased to 13.5% in 2016 from 11.7% in 2015.

General and Administrative Expenses. General and administrative expenses totaled $20.4 million in 2016 as compared with $21.2 million in 2015, a decrease of $0.8 million, or 4.0%. This decrease is attributable primarily to a decrease of $1.5 million in doubtful debt expenses, a decrease of $0.4 million in IT expenses and a decrease of $0.4 million in depreciation expenses, partially offset by an increase in of $1.3 million in salary and salary related expenses and an increase of $0.2 million in stock based compensation expenses. As a percentage of revenues, general and administrative expenses increased to 6.9% in 2016 from 6.1% in 2015.

Restructuring costs. There were no restructuring costs in 2016 as compared with $1.2 million in 2015. Restructuring costs in 2015 were related to completion of the 2014 restructuring plan.

Other income. Other income for 2015 and 2016 included $4.8 million and $1.9 million, respectively, related to the expiration of certain pre-acquisition indirect tax exposures in connection with the Nera Acquisition.

Financial expenses, Net. Financial expenses, net totaled $6.3 million in 2016 as compared with $14.7 million in 2015, a decrease of $8.4 million. This decrease is primarily attributable to a decrease in financial expenses incurred from the re-measurement of assets denominated in or linked to the U.S. dollar in the amount of $6.3 million, mainly related to the change of $3.9 million in the devaluation of assets and liabilities in local currency in Venezuela from $3.0 million in 2015, to appreciation of  $0.9 million in 2016, related to currency fluctuations in Venezuela and Venezuelan government limitations on payments for imported goods on foreign currency, in addition to a $1.9 million decrease in bank charges and interest on loans, mainly related to the significant repayment of loans during the year. As a percentage of revenues, financial expenses, net decreased to 2.1% in 2016 compared to 4.2% in 2015.

Taxes on income. Taxes on income, totaled $1.8 million in 2016 as compared with $5.8 million in 2015, a decrease of $4.0 million, mainly attributed to the decrease in our deferred tax expenses of $1.6 million, due to a significant deferred tax assets utilization in 2015, and decrease in exposures reserves of $2.8 million, related to a relative change in our tax exposures, partially offset by an increase of $0.3 million in our current taxes on income, primarily due to our sales and distribution subsidiaries, where the local activities were more profitable.

48

Net profit. In 2016 the company had $11.4 million in net profit as compared with net profit of $1.0 million in 2015. As a percentage of revenues, net profit increased to 4% in 2016 from a loss of 0.3% in 2015. The increase in net profit was mainly attributable to the decrease in our operating expenses and to the decrease in our financial and tax expenses.
 
Impact of Currency Fluctuations

The majority of our revenues are denominated in U.S. dollars, and to a lesser extent, in INR (Indian Rupee), Euro, and in other currencies. Our cost of revenues are primarily denominated in U.S. dollars as well, while a major part of our operating expenses are in New Israeli Shekel (NIS), and to a lesser extent, in Indian INR (Indian Rupee), Euro, NOK (Norwegian Kroner), BRL (Brazilian Real) and other currencies. We anticipate that a material portion of our operating expenses will continue to be in NIS.

Fluctuation in the exchange rates between any of these currencies (other than U.S. dollars) and the U.S. dollar could significantly impact our results of operations as well as the comparability of these results in different periods. Even in cases where our revenues or our expenses in a certain currency are relatively modest, high volatility of the exchange rates with the U.S. dollar can still have a significant impact on our results of operations. For example, in recent years we have suffered a significant adverse impact on our financial results due to fluctuation in the exchange rates of the U.S. dollar compared to the NGN (Nigerian Naira), the ARS (Argentine Peso) and the VEB (Venezuelan Bolivar). We partially reduce this currency exposure by entering into hedging transactions. The effects of foreign currency re-measurements are reported in our consolidated statements of operations. For a discussion of our hedging transactions, please see Item 11.”QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK.”

Transactions and balances in currencies other than U.S. dollars are re-measured into U.S. dollars according to the principles in ASC topic 830, “Foreign Currency Matters.” Gains and losses arising from re-measurement are recorded as financial income or expense, as applicable.

Effects of Government Regulations and Location on the Company’s Business

For a discussion of the effects of Israeli governmental regulation and our location in Israel on our business, see “Information on the Company – Business Overview – Conditions in Israel” in Item 4 and the “Risks Relating to Israel” as well as the Risk Factor “Our international operations expose us to the risk of fluctuation in currency exchange rates and restrictions related to cash repatriation in Item 3, above.

B.            Liquidity and Capital Resources

Since our initial public offering in August 2000, we have financed our operations primarily through the proceeds of that initial public offering, follow-on offerings and grants from the IIA.

In March 2013, the Company was provided with a revolving Credit Facility (as defined in 4.4 of ITEM 19) by four financial institutions. The Credit Facility was renewed and amended several times during the past years according to Company’s needs and financial position.

In December 2016, the Company signed an amendment to its agreement with the four financial institutions to increase the allowed discounting activities of receivables received under letters of credit from one of its customers to $94 million in addition to the existing $20 million receivables factoring limit.

In March 2017, the Company signed a further amendment to its agreement with three of the four financial institutions to extend the Credit Facility repayment date to March 31, 2018. One of the four bank had to terminate its participation in the agreement because of regulatory constraints and its share in the Credit Facility was re-distributed by the other three on a pro-rata basis. In addition, the Credit Facility for bank guarantees was increased to $ 50.2 million. Other change adjusted the fees and interest spread to the same levels of the original agreement from March 2013.

49

As of December 31, 2017, the Company has not utilized any of the $50 million credit line available for short term loans. During 2017, the credit lines carry interest rates in the range of Libor+3.0% and Libor+3.4%.
 
In February 2018, the Company signed a further amendment to its agreement with the three financial institutions to increase the bank guarantees credit lines by $15 million to a total of $65.2 million.

In March 2018, the Company signed an amendment to the agreement in the frame of which, the fourth bank returned to the consortium after resolving some regulatory matters that caused it to terminate its participation in the consortium in March 2017, and the Credit Facility was redistributed between the consortium members. The amendment extends the Credit Facility by 2 years and 3 months, till June 30, 2020. This extension is subject to the Company achieving a positive operating profit in 2018, otherwise the agreement will only be extended by 1 year and 3 months.  Furthermore, the amendment includes an additional increase in bank guarantees credit lines of $20 million, to $85.2 million, a decrease in the Credit Facility for Loans of $10 million to $40 million, a decrease in allowed letter of credit discounting activities with one customer from $94 million to $50 million, and additional $10 million of allowed factoring of invoices with another specific customer. The existing $20 million receivables factoring permitted under the agreement, has remained unchanged. The amendment also includes reduced fees and interest spread as compared with the March 2017 amendment.
 
The Credit Facility is secured by a floating charge over all Company assets as well as several customary fixed charges on specific assets.

Repayment could be accelerated by the financial institutions in certain events of default including in insolvency events, failure to comply with financial covenants or an event in which a current or future shareholder acquires control (as defined under the Israel Securities Law) of the Company.
 
The credit agreement contains financial and other covenants requiring that the Company maintains, among other things, minimum shareholders' equity value and financial assets, a certain ratio between our shareholders' equity and the total value of our assets on our balance sheet, a certain ratio between our net financial debt to each of our working capital and accounts receivable. As of December 31, 2017 and 2016, the Company met all of its covenants.

In the year ended December 31, 2017 our capital expenditures were $10.9 million, primarily for the development of our new IP-20 product family and its production lines.

As of December 31, 2017, we had approximately $25.9 million in cash and cash equivalents, out of which $0.7 million is located in Venezuela. It may be difficult to transfer foreign currency outside of Venezuela due to foreign currency restrictions. In addition, due to the major devaluation of the Venezuelan Bolivar relative to the U.S. dollar during the first quarter of 2018, we expect to record approximately $0.7 million of forex expenses in the first quarter of 2018, related to the erosion of our cash balances in Venezuela.

In 2017, our $17.2 million in cash provided by operating activities was affected by the following principal factors:

·
our net income of $15.6 million;

·
$9.2 million of depreciation and amortization expenses;

·
$3.4 million increase in trade payables and accrued expenses, net;

·
$2.6 million increase in deferred revenues paid in advance; and

·
$1.2 million stock-based compensation expenses
 
These factors were offset by:

·
a $8.6 million increase in inventories; and

·
a $6.7 million increase in trade and other receivables.
 
50

In 2016, our $25.8 million in cash provided by operating activities was affected by the following principal factors:

·
our net income of $11.4 million;

·
a $15.8 million decrease in trade and other receivables, net;

·
$10.0 million of depreciation and amortization expenses; and

·
a $4.7 million decrease in inventories.
 
These factors were offset by:

·
a $11.6 million decrease in trade payables and accrued expenses, net; and

·
a $6.2 million decrease in deferred revenues paid in advance.
 
In 2015, our $16.1 million in cash provided by operating activities was affected by the following principal factors:

·
our net income of 1.0 million;

·
a $38.2 million decrease in trade and other receivables, net;

·
$12.2 million of depreciation and amortization expenses; and

·
a $10.2 million decrease in inventories.
 
These factors were offset by:

·
a $39.6 million decrease in trade payables and accrued expenses, net; and

·
a $8.8 million decrease in deferred revenues paid in advance.
 
Net cash used in investing activities was approximately $10.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, as compared to net cash used in investing activities of approximately $8.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2016, and net cash used in investing activities of approximately $4.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. In the year ended December 31, 2017, our purchase of property and equipment amounted to $8.5 million in addition to purchase of intangible assets of $1.4 million and our investment in long term bank deposits of $1.0 million. In the year ended December 31, 2016, our purchase of property and equipment of $8.2 million and our investment in short term bank deposits of $0.2 million, were partially offset by proceeds from maturities of deposits of $0.2 million. In the year ended December 31, 2015 our purchase of property and equipment of $5.3 million, were partially offset by proceeds from maturities of bank deposits of $0.4 million.

51

Net cash used in financing activities was approximately $16.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017, as compared to approximately $17.8 million net cash used in financing activities for the year ended December 31, 2016 and net cash used in financing activities of $15.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. In the year ended December 31, 2017, our net cash used in financing activities was primarily due to our repayment of a bank loan of $17.0 million. In the year ended December 31, 2016, our net cash used in financing activities was primarily due to our repayment of a bank loan of $17.9 million.  In the year ended December 31, 2015, our net cash used in financing activities was primarily due to our repayment of a bank loan of $16.0 million

For more details concerning the Company’s commitments, please see below ITEM 5. “OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS - F. Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations.”
 
Our capital requirements are dependent on many factors, including working capital requirements to finance the business activity of the Company, and the allocation of resources to research and development, marketing and sales activities. We plan on continuing to raise capital as we may require, subject to changes in our business activities.

We believe that current cash and cash equivalent balances together with the Credit Facility available with the four financial institutions, will be sufficient for our requirements through at least the next 12 months.

C.            Research and Development

We place considerable emphasis on research and development to improve and expand the capabilities of our existing products, to develop new products (with particular emphasis on equipment for emerging IP-based networks) and to lower the cost of producing both existing and future products. We intend to continue to devote a significant portion of our personnel and financial resources to research and development. As part of our product development process, we maintain close relationships with our customers to identify market needs and to define appropriate product specifications. In addition, we intend to continue to comply with industry standards and, in order to participate in the formulation of European standards, we are full members of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.

Our research and development activities are conducted mainly at our facilities in Tel Aviv, Israel, and also at our subsidiaries in Greece and Romania. As of December 31, 2017, our research, development and engineering staff consisted of 218 employees. Our research and development team includes highly specialized engineers and technicians with expertise in the fields of millimeter-wave design, modem and signal processing, data communications, system management and networking solutions.

Our research and development department provides us with the ability to design and develop most of the aspects of our proprietary solutions, from the chip-level, including both ASICs and RFICs, to full system integration. Our research and development projects currently in process include extensions to our leading IP-based networking product lines and development of new technologies to support future product concepts. In addition, our engineers continually work to redesign our products with the goal of improving their manufacturability and testability while reducing costs.

Our research and development expenses were approximately $25.7 million or 7.7% of revenues in 2017, $21.7 million or 7.4% of revenues in 2016, and $22.9 million or 6.6% of revenues in 2015.

Intellectual Property

For a description of our intellectual property see Item 4. “INFORMATION ON THE COMPANY – B. Business Overview - Intellectual Property.”

D.            Trend Information

For a description of the trend information relevant to us see discussions in Parts A and B of Item 5.”OPERATING AND FINANCIAL REVIEW AND PROSPECTS.”

E.            Off Balance Sheet Arrangements

We are not party to any material off-balance sheet arrangements. In addition, we have no unconsolidated special purpose financing or partnership entities that are likely to create material contingent liabilities.

52

F.            Tabular Disclosure of Contractual Obligations
 
   
Payments due by period (in thousands of dollars)
 
Contractual Obligations
 
Total
   
Less than 1 year
   
1-3 years
   
3-5 years
   
More than 5 years
 
Operating lease obligations1          
   
10,007
     
4,918
     
4,873
     
216
       
Purchase obligations2          
   
36,600
     
36,600
                       
Other long-term commitment3          
   
4,626
     
177
     
1,946
             
2,503
 
Uncertain income tax positions4          
   
2,160
                             
2,160
 
                                         
Total          
   
53,393
     
41,695
     
6,819
     
216
     
4,663
 
 
(1)
  Consists of operating leases for our facilities and for vehicles.
 
(2)
Consists of all outstanding purchase orders for our products from our suppliers.
 
(3)
Our obligation for accrued severance pay under Israel’s Severance Pay Law as of December 31, 2017 was approximately $7.9 million, of which approximately $5.5 million was funded through deposits in severance pay funds, leaving a net commitment of approximately $2.4 million. In addition, the commitment includes a net amount of approximately $2.2 million in pension accruals in other subsidiaries, mainly in Norway.
 
(4)
Uncertain income tax position under ASC 740-10, “Income Taxes,” are due upon settlement and we are unable to reasonably estimate the ultimate amount or timing of settlement. See Note 13g of our Consolidated Financial Statements for further information regarding the Company’s liability under ASC 740-10.
 
 Effect of Recent Accounting Pronouncements

See Note 2, Significant Accounting Policies, in Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Item 8 of Part II of this Report, for a full description of recent accounting pronouncements, including the expected dates of adoption and estimated effects on financial condition and results of operations, which is incorporated herein by reference.
 
ITEM 6.          DIRECTORS, SENIOR MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEES

A.
Directors and Senior Management

The following table lists the name, age and position of each of our current directors and executive officers:
 
Name
Age
Position
Zohar Zisapel          
69
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Ira Palti          
60
President and Chief Executive Officer
Doron Arazi          
54
Deputy Chief Executive Officer & Chief Financial Officer
Nurit Kruk-Zilca          
44
Executive Vice President, Human Resources
Yuval Reina          
51
Executive Vice President, Global Products
Oz Zimerman          
54
Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Development
Flavio Perrucchetti          
50
Regional President, Europe
Ram Prakash Tripathi          
51
Regional President, India
Amit Ancikovsky          
47
Regional President, Latin America & Africa
Charles Meyo          
54
Regional President, North America
Shlomo Liran(2)          
67
Director
Yael Langer          
53
Director
Yair E. Orgler(1)(2)
78
Director
 
(1)          External director
(2)          Independent director
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Set forth below is a biographical summary of each of the above-named directors and executive officers.
 
Zohar Zisapel has served as the Chairman of our Board of Directors since we were incorporated in 1996. Mr. Zisapel also serves as a director of RADCOM Ltd. and Amdocs Limited, both public companies traded on NASDAQ.  Mr. Zisapel founded or invested in many companies in the fields of Communications, Cyber Security and Automotive and serves as chairman or director of many private companies.  Mr. Zisapel received a B.Sc. and a M.Sc. in electrical engineering from the Technion, Haifa Institute of Technology (“Technion”) and an M.B.A. from the Tel Aviv University.
 
Ira Palti has served as our President and Chief Executive Officer since August 2005. From January 2003 to August 2005, Mr. Palti was Chief Executive Officer of Seabridge Ltd., a Siemens company that is a global leader in the area of broadband services and networks. Prior to joining Seabridge, he was the Chief Operating Officer of VocalTec Communications Ltd., responsible for sales, marketing, customer support and product development. Among the positions he held before joining VocalTec was founder of Rosh Intelligent Systems, a company providing software maintenance and AI diagnostic solutions and one of the first startups in Israel. Mr. Palti received a B.Sc. in mathematics and computer science (magna cum laude) from the Tel Aviv University.
 
Doron Arazi has served as our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since 2014. During 2016 Mr. Arazi was appointed as Deputy CEO while continuing to carry the role of Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Arazi joined Ceragon as CFO after a long, successful career with Amdocs where he managed the business relationship with a U.S. Tier 1 mobile operator and was responsible for hundreds of employees.  Prior to Amdocs, Mr. Arazi looked after the financial and growth activities of other high-tech companies in the telecommunications sector, including serving as CFO of Allot Communications and VP of Finance at Verint. Mr. Arazi is a CPA and holds a B.A. degree in Economics and Accounting as well as an MBA degree focusing on Finance and Insurance, both from the Tel Aviv University.
 
Nurit Kruk-Zilca has served as our Executive Vice President, Human Resources since April 2014. From July 2005 until March 2014, Ms. Kruk-Zilca served in various positions in our human resources department, the last one as VP Global HR, responsible for all human resources. From 2000 until July 2005 she was a talent acquisition and sourcing specialist for Intel Israel. Ms. Kruk-Zilca received a B.A. in Leadership & Education and an M.A. in Organizational Sociology from the Tel Aviv University.
 
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Yuval Reina has served as our Executive Vice President Global Products and Services since joining Ceragon in 2015. He is responsible for the conception, creation and delivery of leading-edge wireless backhaul solutions. With more than 25 years in management of large-scale, multidisciplinary projects and sizeable R&D organizations, Mr. Reina brings a wide breadth of experience along with a sharp focus on innovation and product delivery. Mr. Reina holds a B.Sc. (cum laude) in Electrical Engineering and a M.Sc. (summa cum laude) in Management from the Ben-Gurion University.
 
Oz Zimerman has served as our Executive Vice President Global Corporate Development since 2014. He joined the company in March 2013. Oz brings with him over 20 years of global executive business experience in sales, marketing and business development. From 2008 to 2012, Mr. Zimerman was Corporate VP Marketing and Business Development at DSP Group (DSPG), where he was responsible for leading the company's overall marketing activities, M&A and supporting its worldwide expansion. Prior to joining DSP Group, Oz was VP Marketing at Comverse, where he led global positioning and developed partnerships. Before joining Comverse, he was VP Channels Sales, Business Development and Strategic Marketing at ECI Telecom, and prior to his work at ECI, he was Engagement Manager at Shaldor, a leading management consulting firm. Mr. Zimerman holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering & Management from NYU University (summa cum laude) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration & Industrial Engineering from Columbia University.
 
Flavio Perrucchetti has served as our Regional President, Europe since 2015. Mr. Perrucchetti joined Ceragon in August 2011 from SIAE Microelettronica, where he was the Head of Sales & Marketing for Europe from 2007. Prior to that, he was engaged for more than 20 years in sales, marketing and management activities in the telecommunications market, including as the Head of Sales for Europe & Key Accounts Manager for Italy for a major telecom service provider, and as Head of International Sales & Marketing for a major microwave manufacturer where was responsible for Latin America, the Far East and Northern Europe. Mr. Perrucchetti holds a M.Sc. in Biology and also participated in graduate studies in Environmental Chemistry at the Università degli Studi di Milano.
 
Ram Prakash Tripathi has served as our Regional President, India since 2002. Prior to joining Ceragon, Mr. Tripathi held senior managerial positions at several companies including Stratex and Reliance, and has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. Mr. Tripathi holds a B.Sc. in Electronics & Communication Engineering from the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar University, in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.
 
Amit Ancikovsky has served as our Regional President, Latin America since 2013 and has also assumed the position of Regional President Africa in 2015. Prior to joining Ceragon, Mr. Ancikovsky held a number of management positions at Airspan Networks Inc., including President of Sales & Products. Before that, Mr. Ancikovsky served as the Chief Financial Officer and Head of Business Development for Gilat Networks Latin America, a world leader in VSAT technologies. Mr. Ancikovsky holds a B.A. in Accounting and Economics and an LL.B.  from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
 
Charles (Chuck) Meyo has served as our Regional President, North America since 2012. Prior to joining Ceragon, Mr. Meyo served as Vice President of Global Channels and Americas Sales at Narus, Inc. and thereafter worked within the Boeing Defense, Space and Security division (following the acquisition of Narus, Inc. by the Boeing Company in 2011). Prior to that, Mr. Meyo was the Sales Vice President of the IBM Global Accounts and Alliances organization at Avaya and held a variety of successful sales and management roles at Lucent Technologies and AT&T. Mr. Meyo holds a B.A. and B.Sc. from the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.
 
Shlomo Liran joined Ceragon’s Board of Directors in August 2015, after gaining experience in senior management positions, including in the telecommunication industry. In October 2016 Mr. Liran was appointed as the CEO of Spuntech Industries Ltd. From July 2014 until January 2015, Mr. Liran served as the Chief Executive Officer of Hadera Paper Ltd. From 2010 to 2013, Mr. Liran served as the Chief Executive Officer of Avgol Nonwovens Ltd.  During the years 2008 and 2009 Mr. Liran served as the Chief Executive Officer of Ericsson Israel Ltd., and from 2004 to 2007 he served as Chief Executive Officer of TRE (Scandinavian cellular network) in Sweden and in Denmark. From 2000 to 2003, he served as Chief Executive Officer of YES Satellite Multi-Channel TV. Prior to that, Mr. Liran spent thirteen years in Strauss as CEO (1995-2000), General Manager of the Dairy Division (1991-1995) and VP Operations (1987-1991). Mr. Liran holds a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from the Technion, an M. Eng. System Analysis from University of Toronto, Canada and an AMP-ISMP advanced management program from the Harvard Business School. Mr. Liran is one of our independent directors and is considered a "financial expert" for the purposes of the Nasdaq Rules.
 
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Yael Langer has served as our director since December 2000.  Ms. Langer served as our general counsel from July 1998 until December 2000.  Ms. Langer is General Counsel and Secretary of RAD Data Communications Ltd. and other companies in the RAD-BYNET group. Since July 2009, Ms. Langer serves as a director in Radware Ltd. From December 1995 to July 1998, Ms. Langer served as Assistant General Counsel to companies in the RAD-BYNET group. From September 1993 until July 1995, Ms. Langer was a member of the legal department of Poalim Capital Markets and Investments Ltd. Ms. Langer received an LL.B. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
 
Yair E. Orgler has served as our external director since March 2007. Prof. Orgler is Professor Emeritus at the Leon Recanati Graduate School of Business Administration, Tel Aviv University (the “Recanati School”). From 1996 to June 2006, Prof. Orgler was Chairman of the Board of the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange. From 2001 to 2004, he was President of the International Options Markets Association (IOMA). Prof. Orgler serves as a director at Atidim-High Tech Industrial Park Ltd. and Gazit-Globe Ltd. Previous public positions held by Prof. Orgler  include: director at Israel Chemicals Ltd. (until September 2015), director at Bank Hapoalim, B.M.; director at Discount Investment Corporation Ltd., Founder and Chairman of “Maalot”, Israel’s first securities rating company; Chairman of the Wage Committee of the Association of University Heads in Israel; Chairman of the Executive Council of the Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yafo; and member of the Board of the United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF). Previous academic positions held by Prof. Orgler include: Vice Rector of the Tel-Aviv University and before that Dean of the Recanati School. For over 20 years he was the incumbent of the Goldreich Chair in International Banking at the Tel-Aviv University and served frequently as a Visiting Professor of Finance at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. Prof. Orgler holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University, a M.Sc. in industrial engineering from University of Southern California and a B.Sc. in industrial engineering from the Technion. Prof. Orgler is one of our independent directors for the purposes of the Nasdaq Rules and one of our external directors for purposes of the Companies Law.
 
Arrangements Involving Directors and Senior Management
 
There are no arrangements or understandings of which we are aware relating to the election of our directors or the appointment of executive officers in our Company. In addition, there are no family relationships among any of the individuals listed in this Section A (Directors and Senior Management).
 
B.
Compensation

a)
Aggregate Executive Compensation
 
During 2017, the aggregate compensation paid by us or accrued on behalf of all persons listed in Section A above (Directors and Senior Management), and other directors and executive officers who served as such during the year 2017 and have terminated their service with us, consisted of approximately $3.7 million in salary, fees, bonuses, commissions and directors' fees and approximately $0.35 million in amounts set aside or accrued to provide pension, retirement or similar benefits, but excluding amounts expended for automobiles made available to our officers, expenses (including business travel, professional and business association dues and expenses) reimbursed to our officers and other fringe benefits commonly reimbursed under local practices or paid by companies in Israel.
 
During 2017, we granted to our directors and executive officers, in the aggregate, options to purchase 779,164 ordinary shares and 62,500 restricted share units (“RSU’s”) under our Amended and Restated Share Option and RSU Plan. The exercise price of the options ranges from $2.08 to $3.62 per share. Share options will expire 6 years after their date of grant.
 
We have a performance-based bonus plan, which includes our executive officers. The plan is based on our overall performance, the particular unit performance, and individual performance. A non-material portion of the performance objectives of our executive officers are qualitative. The measurable performance objectives can change year over year, and are a combination of financial parameters, such as revenues, booking, gross profit, regional operating profit, operating income, net income and collection. The plan of our executive officers is reviewed and approved by our Compensation Committee and Board of Directors annually (and with respect to our CEO, also by our shareholders), as are any bonus payments to our executive officers made under such plan.
 
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Our two independent directors are compensated in accordance with regulations promulgated under the Companies Law concerning the remuneration of external directors (the “Remuneration Regulations”). Our independent directors are also reimbursed for expenses and are awarded share options, as further described below. We pay each of our independent directors, for their service as directors and their participation in each meeting of the Board or Board's committees, the "Minimum Amount" of the annual and participation fees as set forth in the Remuneration Regulations, based on the classification of the Company according to the size of its capital; As of February 1, 2018 – the sum of NIS 61,068 (approximately $17,614) as annual fee and the sum of NIS 2,156 (approximately $622) as an in-person participation fee, NIS 1,294 (approximately $373) for conference call participation and NIS 1,078 (approximately $311) for participating in a written resolution. These cash amounts are subject to an annual adjustment for changes in the Israeli consumer price index and to an annual adjustment in accordance with the classification of the Company according to the size of its capital. For more information, please see “Remuneration of Directors” and “The Share Option Plan” below and Note 14 to our consolidated financial statements included as Item 18 in this annual report.
 
As consideration for their contributions and efforts as independent directors of the Company, in August 2015 our shareholders approved, in addition to the above-mentioned cash remuneration, annual equity grants to Mr. Shlomo Liran, Mr. Yair E. Orgler and Mr. Avi Patir (who served as our external and independent director until his death in January 2018), with respect to their three-year terms of service. Such equity grants included options to purchase 50,000 Ordinary Shares, one-third of which were granted, on the date of the original appointment, or re-appointment, as applicable for each such director, with an additional one third, granted upon the first anniversary thereof and the remaining options were granted upon the second anniversary thereof; i.e., for Mr. Liran, 16,667 options were granted on August 11 of each of, 2015, and  2016 and the remaining 16,666 options were granted on August 11, 2017. For each of Mr. Patir and Mr. Orgler, 16,667 options were granted on March 25 of each of 2016 (the commencement date of their fourth term of service) - and 2017 and the remaining 16,666 options shall be granted to Mr. Orgler on March 25, 2018, as Mr. Patir’s service as director was terminated in January 2018; see below under C. Board Practices - "External Directors").
 
Further, as remuneration for their contribution and efforts as directors of the Company, in August 2015 our shareholders approved annual equity grants to Mr. Zohar Zisapel and Ms. Yael Langer, with respect to their three-year terms of service, as follows:
 
 
·
to Zohar Zisapel, Chairman of the Board of Directors, options to purchase 150,000 Ordinary Shares, one-third of which were granted on August 11 of each of 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Compensation Committee and Board of Directors believed it would be appropriate to compensate Mr. Zisapel with the grant of an increased number of options in comparison to the number of options granted to the other members of the Board considering, among others, the considerable amount of time required from him to fulfill his Board activities as a Chairman and his long-term contribution to the Company's success.
 
 
·
to Yael Langer, a director of the Company, options to purchase 50,000 Ordinary Shares, one-third of which were granted on August 11 of each of 2015, 2016 (16,667 options) and 2017 (16,666 options).
 
All options granted each year, as detailed above, vest on their date of grant. The exercise price of such options equals to the average closing price of the Company’s Shares on the Nasdaq Global Select Market for the period of thirty (30) consecutive trading days immediately preceding the date of grant. These grants were made under the Company's Amended and Restated Share Option and RSU Plan and under the Capital Gains Route of Section 102(b)(2) of the Israeli Income Tax Ordinance (the “Ordinance”), except for the options granted to Zohar Zisapel, Chairman of the Board of Directors, which are granted under Section 3(i) of the Ordinance.
 
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b)
Individual Compensation of Office Holders
 
The following information describes the compensation of our five most highly compensated “officer holders" (as such term is defined in the Companies Law); with respect to the year ended December 31, 2017. The five individuals for whom disclosure is provided are referred to herein as “Covered Office Holders.” All amounts specified below are in terms of cost to the Company, as recorded in our financial statements, and are based on the following components:
 
·
Salary Costs. Salary Costs include gross salary, benefits and perquisites, including those mandated by applicable law which may include, to the extent applicable to each Covered Office Holder’s, payments, contributions and/or allocations for pension, severance, car or car allowance, medical insurance and risk insurance (e.g., life, disability, accidents), phone, convalescence pay, relocation, payments for social security, and other benefits consistent with the Company's guidelines.
 
·
Performance Bonus Costs. Performance Bonus Costs represent bonuses granted to the Covered Office Holder’s with respect to the year ended December 31, 2017, paid in accordance with the Covered Office Holder’s performance of targets as set forth in his bonus plan, as well as a proportionate amount of a retention bonus that is related to the reported year, and approved by the Company's Compensation Committee and Board of Directors.
 
·
Equity Costs represent the expense recorded in our financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2017, with respect to equity-based compensation granted in 2017 and in previous years. For assumptions and key variables used in the calculation of such amounts see note 14c of our audited consolidated financial statements.
 
·
Ira Palti – CEO. Salary Costs - $ 392,200; Performance Bonus Costs - $288,255; Equity Costs - $216,982.
 
·
Doron Arazi – Deputy CEO & CFO. Salary Cost - $324,058; Performance Bonus Cost - $146,539; Equity Cost - $113,255.
 
·
Amit Ancikovsky – Regional President Latin America & Africa. Salary Costs - $293,639; Performance Bonus Costs - $265,093; Equity Costs - $71,140.
 
·
Charles Meyo – Regional President North America. Salary Costs - $319,259; Performance Bonus Costs - $179,153; Equity Costs -$53,355.
 
·
Flavio Perrucchetti – Regional President Europe. Salary Cost - $385,525; Performance Bonus Cost - $116,397; Equity Cost - $52,128.
 
C.    Board Practices
 
Corporate Governance Practices

We are incorporated in Israel and therefore are generally subject to various corporate governance practices under the Companies Law, relating to matters such as external directors, audit committee (hereinafter referred to as “Corporate Audit Committee”), compensation committee, internal auditor and approvals of interested parties’ transactions. These matters are in addition to the ongoing listing conditions of the Nasdaq and other relevant provisions of U.S. securities laws. Under applicable Nasdaq Rules, a foreign private issuer (such as the Company) may generally follow its home country rules of corporate governance in lieu of the comparable Nasdaq Rules, except for certain matters such as composition and responsibilities of the audit committee and the independence of its members. See Item 3. “KEY INFORMATION – Risk Factors – Risks Related to Our Ordinary Shares - As a foreign private issuer we are permitted to follow certain home country corporate governance practices, instead of applicable SEC and Nasdaq Rules, which may result in less protection than is afforded to investors under rules applicable to domestic issuers.” For information regarding home country rules followed by us see Item 16G. “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE.”

General Board Practices

As a result of the death of Mr. Avi Patir, on January 28, 2018, our Board of Directors presently consists of four members, while the minimum number required under our Articles of Association is five directors. We expect to regain compliance with this requirement shortly, with the appointment of new directors in our next general meeting of shareholders.

58

The Board of Directors retains all the powers in managing our Company that are not specifically granted to the shareholders. For example, for whatever purposes it deems fit, the board may decide to borrow money or may set aside reserves out of our profits.

The Board of Directors may pass a resolution when a quorum is present, and by a vote of at least a majority of the directors present when the resolution is put to vote. A quorum is defined as at least a majority of the directors then in office who are lawfully entitled to participate in the meeting but not less than two directors. The Chairman of the board is elected and removed by the board members. Minutes of the board meetings are recorded and kept at our offices.

The Board of Directors may, subject to the provisions of the Companies Law, appoint a committee of the Board and delegate to such committee all or any of the powers of the Board, as it deems appropriate. Notwithstanding the foregoing and subject to the provisions of the Companies Law, the Board may, at any time, amend, restate or cancel the delegation of any of its powers to any of its committees. Our Board of Directors has appointed a Corporate Audit Committee under the Companies Law, a Financial Audit Committee (each of which has three members), a Compensation Committee and a Nomination Committee (each of which has two members).

Our Articles of Association provide that any director may appoint as an alternate director, by written notice to us, any individual who is qualified to serve as director and who is not then serving as a director or alternate director for any other director. An alternate director has all of the rights and obligations of a director, excluding the right to appoint an alternate for himself. Currently no alternate directors serve on our board.
 
Terms and Skills of Directors

Our directors, other than external directors, are elected at the annual general meeting of shareholders for a term ending on the date of the third annual general meeting following the general meeting at which they were elected, unless earlier terminated in the event of such director’s death, resignation, bankruptcy, incapacity or removal. Accordingly, in our next general meeting of shareholders (the “2018 Meeting”), our three serving directors (which are not external directors), will be proposed for re-election to serve until the date of the 2021 annual general meeting of shareholders.

According to the Companies Law, a person who does not possess the skills required and the ability to devote the appropriate time to the performance of the office of director in a company, taking into consideration, among other things, the special requirements and size of that company, shall neither be appointed as a director nor serve as a director in a public company. A public company shall not summon a general meeting the agenda of which includes the appointment of a director, and a director shall not be appointed, unless the candidate has submitted a declaration that he or she possesses the skills required and the ability to devote the appropriate time to the performance of the office of director in the company, that sets forth the aforementioned skills and further states that the limitations set forth in the Companies Law regarding the appointment of a director do not apply in respect of such candidate.

A director who ceases to possess any qualification required under the Companies Law for holding the office of director or who becomes subject to any ground for termination of his/her office must inform the company immediately and his/her office shall terminate upon such notice.

Independent Directors

Under the Nasdaq Rules, the majority of our directors are required to be independent. The independence standard under the Nasdaq Rules excludes, among others, any person who is: (i) a current or former (at any time during the past three years) employee of the company or its affiliates; or (ii) an immediate family member of an executive officer (at any time during the past three years) of the company or its affiliates. Messrs. Yair Orgler and Shlomo Liran currently serve as our independent directors. Due to the recent death of Mr. Avi Patir, as of January 28, 2018, we temporarily do not comply with this particular requirement of the Nasdaq Rules. However, consistent with Listing Rules 6505(b)(1)(A), Nasdaq provided the Company with a cure period in order to regain compliance, until the earlier of the next annual shareholders’ meeting or January 28, 2019; or if the next annual shareholders’ meeting is held before July 27, 2018, then the Company must evidence compliance no later than this date. The Company intends to fill the vacancy and regain compliance immediately following its 2018 Meeting.

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External Directors

Under the Companies Law, we are required to appoint at least two external directors. Each committee of a company’s board of directors, which is authorized to exercise the board of directors’ authorities, is required to include at least one external director, and the corporate audit and compensation committees must include all of the external directors. Regulations promulgated under the Companies Law allow us, as a company whose shares are traded on Nasdaq, and does not have a controlling shareholder (within the meaning of the Companies Law) to exempt ourselves from the requirement to have external directors on our Board of Directors and from related obligations imposed by the Companies Law concerning such external directors, provided that we continue to comply with applicable U.S. securities laws and Nasdaq listing rules. Implementation of such exemption is not currently planned.

Qualification. To qualify as an external director, an individual or his or her relative, partner, employer, any person to whom such person is directly or indirectly subject to, or any entity under his or her control may not have, as of the date of appointment, or may not have had, during the previous two years, any affiliation with the company, any entity controlling the company on the date of the appointment or with any entity controlled, at the date of the appointment or during the previous two years, by the company or by its controlling shareholder and in a company that does not have a shareholder or an affiliated group of shareholders holding 25% or more of the company’s voting rights, such person may not have any affiliation with any person who, at the time of appointment or thereafter, is the chairman, the CEO, chief financial officer or a 5% shareholder of the company. In general, the term “affiliation” includes:

·
an employment relationship;

·
a business or professional relationship maintained on a regular basis;

·
“Control”; and

·
service as an “Office Holder”; the term “Office Holder” as defined in the Companies Law includes a director, the CEO, an executive vice president, a vice president, any other person fulfilling or assuming any of the foregoing positions without regard to such person’s title, and any manager who is directly subordinated to the CEO.
 
“Control” is defined in the Israeli Securities Law as the ability to direct the actions of a company, excluding power that is solely derived from a position as a director of the company or any other position with the company; a person who holds 50% or more of the “controlling power” in the company (i.e., voting rights or the right to appoint a director or a general manager) is automatically considered to possess control.

In addition, no person can serve as an external director if the person’s position or other activities creates, or may create, a conflict of interest with the person’s responsibilities as an external director or may otherwise interfere with the person’s ability to serve as an external director. Until the lapse of two years from termination of office, a company or its controlling shareholder may not give any direct or indirect benefit to the former external director.

Election and Term of External Directors.  External directors are elected by a majority vote at a shareholders’ meeting, provided that either:

·
the majority of the shares voted at the meeting, which are not held by controlling shareholders or shareholders with personal interest in approving the appointment (excluding personal interest not resulting from contacts with the controlling shareholder) ("Non-Related Votes"), not taking into account any abstentions, vote in favor of the election; or

·
the total number of Non-Related Votes, voting against the election of the external director, does not exceed two percent of the aggregate voting rights in the company.

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In a company in which, at the date of appointment of an external director, all the directors are of the same gender, the external director to be appointed shall be of the other gender.

An external director can be removed from office only by: (i) a special meeting of the shareholders, by the same majority of shareholders that is required to elect an external director; or (ii) a court, and provided that either: (a) the external director ceases to meet the statutory qualifications with respect to his or her appointment; or (b) the external director violates his or her duty of loyalty to the company. The court may also remove an external director from office if he or she is unable to perform his or her duties on a regular basis.

An external director who ceases to possess any qualification required under the Companies Law for holding the office of an external director must inform the company immediately and his/her office shall terminate upon such notice.

An external director serves a three-year term, and may be re-elected to serve in this capacity for two additional terms of three years each. Thereafter, he or she may be re-elected by the shareholders for additional periods of up to three years each, only if the Audit Committee, followed by the board, have approved the reelection, taking into consideration the expertise and special contribution of the external director to the work of the board and its committees, and determining that the appointment for a further term of service is beneficial to the company.

Re-election of an external director may be effected through one of the following mechanisms:

1.
a shareholder holding one percent or more of a company's voting rights proposed the re-election of the nominee;
2.
the board of directors proposed the re-election of the nominee and the election was approved by the shareholders by the majority required to appoint external directors for their initial term; or
3.
the external director who is up for renewal has proposed himself or herself for re-election.

With respect to mechanisms 1 and 3 above: (i) the re-election must be approved by a majority of the votes cast by the shareholders of the Company, excluding the votes of (a) controlling shareholders; and (b) shareholders who have a personal interest in approving such nomination resulting from their relations with the controlling shareholders; (ii) the re-election must include votes cast in favor of the re-election by such non-excluded shareholders constituting more than two percent of the voting rights in the Company; and (iii) the external director cannot be a related or competing shareholder or a relative of such a related or competing  shareholder at the time of the appointment, and cannot have any affiliation with a related or competing shareholder, at the time of the appointment or within the two years preceding the appointment. A ‘related or competing shareholder’ exists where: (a) a shareholder proposing the re-appointment or a shareholder holding 5% or more of the outstanding shares or voting rights of the company; and (b) at the time of the re-appointment, such shareholder, a controlling shareholder thereof or a company controlled by such shareholder or by a controlling shareholder thereof, either has business relationships with the Company or is a competitor of the Company.

Financial and Accounting Expertise.  Pursuant to the Companies Law and regulations promulgated thereunder, (1) each external director must have either “accounting and financial expertise” or “professional qualifications and (2) at least one of the external directors must have “accounting and financial expertise.”  A director with “accounting and financial expertise” is a director whose education, experience and skills qualifies him or her to be highly proficient in understanding business and accounting matters and to thoroughly understand the Company’s financial statements and to stimulate discussion regarding the manner in which financial data is presented. A director with “professional qualifications”  is a person that meets any of the following criteria: (i) has an academic degree in economics, business management, accounting, law, public administration; (ii) has a different academic degree or has completed higher education in an area relevant to the Company’s business or which is relevant to his or her position; or (iii) has at least five years’ experience in any of the following, or has a total of five years’ experience in at least two of the following: (A) a senior position in the business management of a corporation with substantial business activities; (B) a senior public position or a senior position in the public service; or (C) a senior position in the Company’s main fields of business.

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Compensation. An external director is entitled to compensation as provided in the Remuneration Regulations and is otherwise prohibited from receiving any other compensation, directly or indirectly, from the Company. For more information, please see “Remuneration of Directors” below.

Our External Directors. Yair Orgler and the late Avi Patir were initially appointed in 2006 as our external directors. Their terms began in March 2007 and in December 2009, and December 2012, at the respective annual general meeting of shareholders, Messrs. Orgler and Patir were re-appointed for second and third terms as external directors.  In our 2015 annual general meeting, the shareholders approved the extension of terms of service for Messrs. Orgler and Patir for an additional period of three years each, which began on March 25, 2016, following approvals by our Corporate Audit Committee and Board that such re-appointment was beneficial to the Company considering the expertise and special contribution each of Messrs. Orgler and Patir to the work of the Board and its committees. Our Board of Directors has determined that Prof. Orgler has the “accounting and financial expertise” and that Mr. Patir has the “professional qualifications” required by the Companies Law. As a result of the death of Mr. Patir, as of January 28, 2018, we only have one external director. We expect to regain compliance with these requirements, immediately following our  2018 Meeting.

Remuneration of Directors

Directors’ remuneration should be consistent with our compensation policy for office holders (see below) and generally requires the approval of the Compensation Committee, the Board of Directors and the shareholders (in that order).
 
Notwithstanding the above, under special circumstances, the Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors may approve an arrangement that deviates from our compensation policy, provided that such arrangement is approved by a special majority of the company’s shareholders, including (i) at least a majority of the shareholders, present and voting (abstentions are disregarded), who are not controlling shareholders and who do not have a personal interest in the matter, or (ii) the non-controlling shareholders and shareholders who do not have a personal interest in the matter who were present and voted against the matter hold two percent or less of the voting power of the Company.
 
According to the Remuneration Regulations, external directors are generally entitled to an annual fee, a participation fee for board or committee meetings and reimbursement of travel expenses for participation in a meeting which is held outside of the external director’s place of residence. The minimum, fixed and maximum amounts of the annual and participation fees are set forth in the Remuneration Regulations, and are based on the classification of the Company according to the size of its capital. Remuneration of an external director in an amount which is less than the fixed annual fee or the fixed participation fee requires the approval of the Compensation Committee, the Board of Directors and the shareholders (in that order). A candidate for external directors must be informed about the terms of remuneration prior to his/her appointment and, subject to certain exceptions, these terms cannot be amended throughout the three-year period during which he or she is in office. A company may compensate an external director in shares or rights to purchase shares, other than convertible debentures which may be converted into shares, in addition to the annual and the participation fees, and the reimbursement of expenses, subject to certain limitations set forth in the Remuneration Regulations.
 
Additionally, according to other regulations promulgated under the Companies Law with respect to relief in approval of certain related party transactions (the “Relief Regulations”), shareholders’ approval for directors’ compensation and employment arrangements is not required if both the compensation committee and the board of directors resolve that either (i) the directors’ compensation and employment arrangements are solely for the benefit of the Company or (ii) the remuneration to be paid to any such director does not exceed the maximum amounts set forth in the regulations applicable to companies whose shares are traded outside of Israel. Further, according to the Relief Regulations, shareholders' approval for directors' compensation and employment arrangements is not required if (i) both the compensation committee and the board of directors resolve that such terms are not more beneficial than the former terms, or are essentially the same in their effect, and are in line with the company's compensation policy; and (ii) such terms are brought for shareholder approval at the next general meeting of shareholders.
 
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Neither we nor any of our subsidiaries has entered into a service contract with any of our current directors that provides for benefits upon termination of their service as directors.
 
For a full discussion of the remuneration paid to our directors, including our external directors, see above in “B. Compensation a) Aggregate Executive Compensation.”
 
Committees of the Board of Directors

Financial Audit Committee

In accordance with the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, rules of the SEC under the Exchange Act and under Nasdaq Rules, we are required to have an audit committee consisting of at least three directors, each of whom (i) is independent; (ii) does not receive any compensation from the Company (other than directors' fees); (iii) is not an affiliated person of the Company or any of its subsidiaries; (iv) has not participated in the preparation of the Company's (or  subsidiary's) financial statements during the past three years; and (v) is financially literate and one of whom has been determined by the board to be a financial expert. Currently, Messrs. Yair Orgler, and Shlomo Liran serve on our Financial Audit Committee, each of whom has been determined by the board to meet the Nasdaq standards described above. Mr. Liran is the chairman of our Financial Audit Committee and its financial expert (see Item 16A. “AUDIT COMMITTEE FINANCIAL EXPERT” below).

As of January 28, 2018, the date of Mr. Patir’s death, we no longer comply with the requirement to have an audit committee consisting of at least three members. However, consistent with Nasdaq Rule 6505(c)(4), Nasdaq provided the Company a cure period in order to regain compliance until the earlier of the next annual shareholders’ meeting or January 28, 2019; or if the next annual shareholders’ meeting is held before July 27, 2018, then the Company must evidence compliance no later than this date. We plan to fill the vacancy and regain compliance with this requirement shortly, after the appointment of new independent directors in our 2018 Meeting.

We have adopted a Financial Audit Committee charter as required under the Nasdaq Rules. The duties and responsibilities of the Financial Audit Committee include: (i) recommending the appointment of the Company's independent auditor to the Board of Directors, determining its compensation and overseeing the work performed by it; (ii) pre-approving all services of the independent auditor; (iii) overseeing our accounting and financial reporting processes and the audits of our financial statements; and (iv) handling complaints relating to accounting, internal controls and auditing matters.

Corporate Audit Committee

Under the Companies Law, the board of directors of any Israeli public company must appoint an audit committee comprised of at least three directors and all the external directors.  In addition, the majority of the members must meet certain independence criteria and may not include: (i) the chairman of the board; (ii) any controlling shareholder or any relative thereof; (iii) any director employed by or providing services on a regular basis to, the Company, a controlling shareholder or a company owned by a controlling shareholder; or (iv) any director whose main income is provided by a controlling shareholder ("Non-Permitted Members").  The chairman of such audit committee must be an external director. As a result of Mr. Patir’s death, our Corporate Audit Committee does not currently follow such composition requirements, and we expect to regain compliance with these requirements, immediately following our 2018 Meeting. Mr. Yair Orgler, our external director, and Mr. Shlomo Liran, who serve as members of our Corporate Audit Committee, meet the independence criteria defined in the Companies Law. Mr. Orgler is the chairman of our Corporate Audit Committee.

The duties and responsibilities of our Corporate Audit Committee include: (i) identifying of irregularities and deficiencies in the management of our business, in consultation with the internal auditor and our independent auditor, and suggesting appropriate courses of action to amend such irregularities; (ii) reviewing and approving certain transactions and actions of the Company, including the approval of related party transactions that require approval by the audit committee under the Companies Law; defining whether certain acts and transactions that involve conflicts of interest are material or not and whether transactions that involve interested parties are extraordinary or not, and to approve such transactions; (iii)  recommending the appointment of the internal auditor and its compensation to the Board of Directors; (iv) examining the performance of our internal auditor and whether it is provided with the required resources and tools necessary for him to fulfill its role, considering, inter alia, the Company's size and special needs; (v) setting procedures for handling complaints made by the Company's employees in connection with management deficiencies and the protection to be provided to such employees; and (vi) performing such other duties that are or will be designated solely to the audit committee in accordance with the Companies Law and the Company's Articles of Association.

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Non-Permitted Members shall not attend Corporate Audit Committee meetings or take part in its decisions, unless the chairman of the Corporate Audit Committee has determined that such person is required for the presentation of a certain matter. Nevertheless, an employee who is not a controlling shareholder or a relative thereof, may be present at discussion of the committee, pursuant to the committee's request, and the company’s legal counsel and secretary, who are not controlling shareholders or relatives thereof, may be present during both the discussion and vote of the committee, pursuant to the committee's request.

The quorum for discussions and decisions shall be the majority of the members of the Corporate Audit Committee, provided that the majority of the members present meet the independence criteria set forth in the Companies Law, and at least one of them is an external director.

Compensation Committee

General. According to the Companies Law, the board of directors of any Israeli public company must appoint a compensation committee, comprised of at least three directors, including all of the external directors. The majority of the compensation committee must be comprised of external directors and an external director who must serve as the chairman of the committee. The remaining members of the committee must satisfy the criteria for remuneration applicable to the external directors and qualified to serve as members of the audit committee pursuant to Companies Law requirements (Corporate Audit Committee), as described above (the “Compensation Committee Qualifications”). Until January 28, 2018, our Compensation Committee was comprised of our (then) two external directors, Messrs. Yair Orgler and Avi Patir, as well as our independent director, Mr. Shlomo Liran, whose remuneration is identical to the remuneration paid to our external directors. Mr. Patir served as the Chairman of our Compensation Committee. As a result of Mr. Patir’s death, our Compensation Committee does not currently comply with the Compensation Committee Qualifications, and we expect to regain compliance with such qualifications shortly, immediately following our 2018 Meeting.
 
The Compensation Committee is responsible for: (i) making recommendations to the Board of Directors with respect to the approval of the compensation policy (see below) and any extensions thereto; (ii) periodically reviewing the implementation of the compensation policy and providing the Board of Directors with recommendations with respect to any amendments or updates thereto; (iii) reviewing and resolving whether or not to approve arrangements with respect to the terms of office and employment of office holders; and (iv) determining whether or not to exempt under certain circumstances a transaction with a candidate for CEO, who is not affiliated with the Company or its controlling shareholders, from shareholder approval, and provided that the terms approved are consistent with the compensation policy.
 
In addition, our Compensation Committee administers our Amended and Restated Share Option and RSU Plan. The Board has delegated to the Compensation Committee the authority to grant options and RSUs under this plan and to act as the share incentive committee pursuant to this plan, provided that such grants are within the framework determined by the Board, and that the grant of equity compensation to our office holders is also approved by our board.
 
The attendance and participation in the meetings of the Compensation Committee is subject to the same limitations that apply to the Corporate Audit Committee.

The quorum for discussions and decisions is the majority of the Compensation Committee members, provided that the majority of the members present are independent directors and at least one of them is an external director.

Under Nasdaq Rules, the compensation payable to our executive officers must be determined or recommended to the board for determination either by a majority of the independent directors on the board, in a vote in which only independent directors participate, or by a compensation committee comprised solely of independent directors, subject to certain exceptions. We generally follow the provisions of the Companies Law with respect to matters in connection with the composition and responsibilities of our Compensation Committee, office holder compensation, and any required approval by the shareholders of such compensation. (see also under Item 16G. “CORPORATE GOVERNANCE”).

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Under the Companies Law and regulations promulgated there under: (a) an Israeli public company whose shares are traded on Nasdaq, and does not have a controlling shareholder (within the meaning of the Companies Law), is permitted to exempt itself from the above-mentioned composition requirements set forth under the Companies Law with respect to audit committee and compensation committee set forth under the Companies Law, and to follow only the composition requirements under the Nasdaq Listing Rules; and (b) an Israeli public company may elect to have its audit committee carry out all the duties and responsibilities conferred by the Companies Law upon the compensation committee, provided that such audit committee meets the Compensation Committee Qualifications. As we currently do not comply with the Compensation Committee Qualifications, in February 2018 our Board of Directors has elected to take a temporary exemption from the Companies Law composition requirements with respect to compensation committee, and to follow the composition requirements set forth under the Nasdaq Listing Rules, until such time when the Company regains compliance with the Compensation Committee Qualifications.

Nomination Committee

The Nasdaq Rules require that director nominees be selected or recommended for the board’s selection either by a nomination committee composed solely of independent directors, or by a majority of independent directors, in a vote in which only independent directors participate, subject to certain exceptions. Our two independent directors, Mr. Orgler and Mr. Liran, are the members of our Nomination Committee, which recommends director nominees for our board's approval.

Approval of Office Holders Terms of Employment
 
The terms of office and employment of office holders (other than directors and the CEO) require the approval of the compensation committee and then of the board of directors, provided such terms are in accordance with the company's compensation policy. If terms of employment of such officer are not in accordance with the compensation policy, then shareholder approval is also required. However, in special circumstances the compensation committee and then the board of directors may nonetheless approve such terms of office and employment even if they were not approved by the shareholders, following a further discussion and for detailed reasoning.
 
The terms of office and employment of a CEO, regardless of whether such terms conform to the Company's compensation policy, must be approved by the compensation committee, the board of directors and then by a special majority of the shareholders, including: (i) a majority of the shareholders, present and voting (abstentions are disregarded), who are not controlling shareholders and who do not have a personal interest in the matter; or (ii) the non-controlling shareholders and shareholders who do not have a personal interest in the matter who were present and voted against the matter hold two percent or less of the voting power of the Company.
 
Notwithstanding the above, in special circumstances the compensation committee and then the board of directors may nonetheless approve compensation for the CEO, even if such compensation was not approved by the shareholders, following a further discussion and for detailed reasoning. In addition, under certain circumstances, a company may be exempt from receiving shareholder approval with respect to the terms of office and employment of a candidate for the position of CEO.

Amendment of existing terms of office and employment of office holders, including chief executive officers, who are not directors, require the approval of the compensation committee only, if the compensation committee determines that the amendment is not material.

The terms of office and employment of directors, regardless of whether such terms conform to the company's compensation policy, must be approved by the compensation committee, the board of directors and then by the shareholders, but, in case that such terms are inconsistent with the company's compensation policy, such shareholders' approval must be obtained by the special majority detailed above with respect to the CEO.

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However, and as referred to above with respect to remuneration of directors, according to the Relief Regulations, a company's compensation committee and board of directors are permitted to approve terms of office and employment of a CEO or of a director, without convening a general meeting of shareholders, provided however, that such terms: (i) are not more beneficial than the former terms, or are essentially the same in their effect;  (ii) are in line with the company’s compensation policy; and (iii) are brought for shareholder approval at the next general meeting of shareholders.

Compensation Policy

As required by the Companies Law, our shareholders, following the approval of the board of directors and the recommendations of the compensation committee, approved and adopted a compensation policy in 2012. The compensation policy was revised in 2015 and a further revision is going to be brought for shareholder approval in the 2018 Meeting (the “Compensation Policy”). The Compensation Policy sets forth the Company’s policy regarding the terms of office and employment of office holders, including compensation, equity awards, severance and other benefits, exemption from liability and indemnification, and which takes into account, among other things, providing proper incentives to directors and officers, management of risk by the Company, the officer’s contribution to achieving corporate objectives and increasing profits, and the function of the officer or director.  The Compensation Policy provides our Compensation Committee and our Board of Directors with adequate measures and flexibility to tailor each of our office holder’s compensation package based, among other matters, on geography, tasks, role, seniority and capability. Moreover, it is intended to motivate our office holders to achieve ongoing targeted results in addition to a high level of business performance in the long term, all without encouraging excessive risk taking.

Until 2016, the Companies Law required that all variable compensation of office holders be based on measurable criteria, except for a non-material portion thereof. Accordingly, the Compensation Policy allows for a non-substantial portion of up to 20% of the bonus objectives for each year to be based on non-measurable criteria, and if and to the extent permissible pursuant to the Companies Law - our Compensation Committee and Board of Directors (and with respect to our CEO and directors with the approval of our shareholders as well) - may increase the portion of targets that are based on non-measurable criteria up to 50%. Since 2016, 100% of the variable compensation of office holders, who are not directors or the CEO, may be based on non-measurable criteria, and the variable compensation of directors and chief executive officers should still be based on measurable criteria, but with the exception of a non-substantial portion of up to 3 monthly salaries. Accordingly, as of 2016, our Compensation Committee and Board of Directors now have the authority to increase the portion of the targets of our office holders (who are not directors and CEO), that are based on non-measurable criteria, to 50%.

Approval of Certain Transactions with Related Parties

The Companies Law requires the approval of the corporate audit committee or the compensation committee, thereafter, the approval of the board of directors and in certain cases the approval of the shareholders, in order to effect specified actions and extraordinary transactions such as the following:

·
transactions with office holders and third parties, where an office holder has a personal interest in the transaction;

·
employment terms of office holders; and

·
extraordinary transactions with controlling parties, and extraordinary transactions with a third party where a controlling party has a personal interest in the transaction, or any transaction with the controlling shareholder or his relative regarding terms of service provided directly or indirectly (including through a company controlled by the controlling shareholder) and terms of employment (for a controlling shareholder who is not an office holder). A “relative” is defined in the Companies Law as spouse, sibling, parent, grandparent, descendant, spouse’s descendant, sibling or parent and the spouse of any of the foregoing.

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Further, such extraordinary transactions with controlling shareholders require the approval of the corporate audit committee or the compensation committee, the board of directors and the majority of the voting power of the shareholders present and voting at the general meeting of the company (not including abstentions), provided that either:

·
the majority of the shares of shareholders who have no personal interest in the transaction and who are present and voting, not taking into account any abstentions, vote in favor; or

·
shareholders who have no personal interest in the transaction who vote against the transaction do not represent more than two percent of the aggregate voting rights in the company.

Any shareholder participating in the vote on approval of an extraordinary transaction with a controlling shareholder must inform the company prior to the voting whether or not he or she has a personal interest in the approval of the transaction, and if he or she fails to do so, his or her vote will be disregarded.

Further, such extraordinary transactions as well as any transactions with a controlling shareholder or his relative concerning terms of service or employment need to be re-approved once every three years, provided however that with respect to certain such extraordinary transactions the corporate audit committee may determine that a longer duration is reasonable given the circumstances related thereto and such extended period has been approved by the shareholders.

In accordance with regulations promulgated under the Companies Law, certain defined types of extraordinary transactions between a public company and its controlling shareholder(s) are exempt from the shareholder approval requirements.

The approval of the corporate audit committee, followed by the approval of the board of directors and the shareholders, is required to effect a private placement of securities, in which either: (i) 20% or more of the company’s outstanding share capital prior to the placement is offered, and the payment for which (in whole or in part) is not in cash, in tradable securities registered in a stock exchange or not under market terms, and which will result in: (a) an increase of the holdings of a shareholder that holds 5% or more of the company’s outstanding share capital or voting rights; or (b) will cause any person to become, as a result of the issuance, a holder of more than 5% of the company’s outstanding share capital or voting rights; or (ii) a person will become a controlling shareholder of the company.

A “controlling party” is defined in the Israeli Securities Law and in the Companies Law, for purposes of the provisions governing related party transactions, as a person with the ability to direct the actions of a company but excluding a person whose power derives solely from his or her position as a director of the company or any other position with the company, and with respect to approval of transactions with related parties also a person who holds 25% or more of the voting power in a public company if no other shareholder owns more than 50% of the voting power in the company, and provided that two or more persons holding voting rights in the company, who each have a personal interest in the approval of the same transaction, shall be deemed to be one holder for the purpose of evaluating their holdings with respect to approvals of transactions with related parties.

Compensation committee approval is also required (and thereafter, the approval of the board of directors and in certain cases – the approval of the shareholders) to approve the grant of an exemption from the responsibility for a breach of the duty of care towards the company, for the provision of insurance and for an undertaking to indemnify any office holder of the company; see below under “Exemption, Insurance and Indemnification of Directors and Officers.”

Duties of Office Holders and Shareholders

Duties of Office Holders

Fiduciary Duties. The Companies Law imposes a duty of care and a duty of loyalty on all office holders of a company, including directors and officers. The duty of care requires an office holder to act with the level of care with which a reasonable office holder in the same position would have acted under the same circumstances. The duty of loyalty includes avoiding any conflict of interest between the office holder's position in the company and his personal affairs, avoiding any competition with the company, avoiding the exploitation of any business opportunity of the company in order to receive personal advantage for himself or others, and revealing to the company any information or documents relating to the company's affairs which the office holder has received due to his position as an office holder.

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The company may approve an action by an office holder from which the office holder would otherwise have to refrain due to its violation of the office holder’s duty of loyalty if: (i) the office holder acts in good faith and the act or its approval does not cause harm to the company, and (ii) the office holder discloses the nature of his or her interest in the transaction to the company a reasonable time before the company’s approval.

Each person listed in the table under “Directors and Senior Management” above is considered an office holder under the Companies Law.

Disclosure of Personal Interests of an Office Holder. The Companies Law requires that an office holder of a company promptly disclose any personal interest that he or she may have and all related material information and documents known to him or her relating to any existing or proposed transaction by the company. If the transaction is an extraordinary transaction, the office holder must also disclose any personal interest held by the office holder's spouse, siblings, parents, grandparents, descendants, spouse’s siblings, parents and descendants and the spouses of any of these people, or any corporation in which the office holder: (i) holds at least 5% of the company’s outstanding share capital of voting rights; (ii) is a director or general manager; or (iii) has the right to appoint at least one director or the general manager. An extraordinary transaction is defined as a transaction that is either: (i) not in the ordinary course of business; (ii) not on market terms; or (iii) likely to have a material impact on the company’s profitability, assets or liabilities.

In the case of a transaction which is not an extraordinary transaction, after the office holder complies with the above disclosure requirements, only board approval is required unless the articles of association of the company provide otherwise. The transaction must be for the benefit of the company. If a transaction is an extraordinary transaction, or a with respect to terms of office and employment, then, in addition to any approval stipulated by the articles of association, it also must be approved by the company's audit committee (or with respect to terms of office and employment, the compensation committee) and then by the board of directors, and, under certain circumstances, by a meeting of the shareholders of the company. A director who has a personal interest in a transaction, may be present if a majority of the members of the board of directors or the audit committee (or with respect to terms of office and employment, the compensation committee), as the case may be, has a personal interest. If a majority of the board of directors has a personal interest, then shareholders’ approval is also required.

Duties of Shareholders

Under the Companies Law, a shareholder has a duty to: (i) act in good faith toward the company and other shareholders; and (ii) refrain from abusing his or her power in the company, including, among other things, voting in a general meeting of shareholders with respect to the following matters: (a) any amendment to the articles of association; (b) an increase of the company's authorized share capital; (c) a merger; or (d) approval of interested party transactions which require shareholders' approval.

In addition, any controlling shareholder, or any shareholder who knows that it possesses power to determine the outcome of a shareholder vote and any shareholder who, pursuant to the provisions of a company's articles of association, has the power to appoint or prevent the appointment of an office holder in the company, is under a duty to act with fairness towards the company. The Companies Law does not describe the substance of this duty but states that the remedies generally available upon a breach of contract, will also apply in the event of a breach of the duty of fairness, taking into account such shareholder's position.

Exemption, Insurance and Indemnification of Directors and Officers

Pursuant to the Companies Law and the Israeli Securities Law, the Israeli Securities Authority (“ISA”) is authorized to impose administrative sanctions, including monetary fines, against companies like ours and their officers and directors for certain violations of the Israeli Securities Law or the Companies Law (for further details see in “Administrative Enforcement” below); and the Companies Law provides that companies like ours may indemnify their officers and directors and purchase an insurance policy to cover certain liabilities, if provisions for that purpose are included in their articles of association.
 
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Our Articles of Association allow us to indemnify and insure our office holders to the fullest extent permitted by law.
 
Office Holders' Exemption
 
Under the Companies Law, an Israeli company may not exempt an office holder from liability for a breach of his or her duty of loyalty, but may exempt in advance an office holder from his or her liability to the company, in whole or in part, for a breach of his or her duty of care (except in connection with distributions), provided that the articles of association allow it to do so. Our Articles of Association allow us to exempt our office holders to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Office Holders’ Insurance

Our Articles of Association provide that, subject to the provisions of the Companies Law, we may enter into a contract for the insurance of all or part of the liability of any of our office holders imposed on the office holder in respect of an act or omission performed by him or her in his or her capacity as an office holder, regarding each of the following:

·
a breach of his or her duty of care to us or to another person;

·
a breach of his or her duty of loyalty to us, provided that the office holder acted in good faith and had reasonable cause to assume that his or her act would not prejudice our interests;

·
a financial liability imposed upon him or her in favor of another person; and/or

·
any other event, occurrence or circumstance in respect of which we may lawfully insure an office holder.

Without derogating from the aforementioned, subject to the provisions of the Companies Law and the Israeli Securities Law, we may also enter into a contract to insure an office holder, in respect of expenses, including reasonable litigation expenses and legal fees, incurred by an office holder in relation to an administrative proceeding instituted against such office holder or payment required to be made to an injured party, pursuant to certain provisions of the Israeli Securities Law.

Office Holder's Indemnification

Our Articles of Association provide that, subject to the provisions of the Companies Law and the Israeli Securities Law, we may indemnify any of our office holders for an obligation or expense specified below, imposed on or incurred by the office holder in respect of an act or omission performed in his or her capacity as an office holder, as follows:

·
a financial liability imposed on him or her in favor of another person by any judgment, including a settlement or an arbitration award approved by a court.

·
reasonable litigation expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by the office holder as a result of an investigation or proceeding instituted against him by a competent authority which concluded without the filing of an indictment against him and without the imposition of any financial liability in lieu of criminal proceedings, or  which concluded without the filing of an indictment against him but with the imposition of a financial liability in lieu of criminal proceedings concerning a criminal offense that does not require proof of criminal intent or  in connection with a financial sanction (the phrases “proceeding concluded without the filing of an indictment” and “financial liability in lieu of criminal proceeding” shall have the meaning ascribed to such phrases in section 260(a)(1a) of the Companies Law);

·
reasonable litigation expenses, including attorneys’ fees, expended by an office holder or charged to the office holder by a court, in a proceeding instituted against the office holder by the Company or on its behalf or by another person, or in a criminal charge from which the office holder was acquitted, or in a criminal proceeding in which the office holder was convicted of an offense that does not require proof of criminal intent;

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·
expenses, including reasonable litigation expenses and legal fees, incurred by an office holder in relation to an administrative proceeding instituted against such office holder, or payment required to be made to an injured party, pursuant to certain provisions of the Securities Law; and/or

·
any other event, occurrence or circumstance in respect of which we may lawfully indemnify an office holder.

The Company may undertake to indemnify an office holder as aforesaid: (a) prospectively, provided that, in respect of the first act (financial liability) the undertaking is limited to events which in the opinion of the Board of Directors are foreseeable in light of the Company’s actual operations when the undertaking to indemnify is given, and to an amount or criteria set by the Board of Directors as reasonable under the circumstances, and further provided that such events and amount or criteria are set forth in the indemnification undertaking; and (b) retroactively.

Limitations on Insurance and Indemnification

The Companies Law provides that a company may not exempt or indemnify an office holder nor enter into an insurance contract which would provide coverage for any monetary liability incurred as a result of any of the following:

·
a breach by the office holder of his or her duty of loyalty, except that the company may enter into an insurance contract or indemnify an office holder if the office holder acted in good faith and had a reasonable basis to believe that the act would not prejudice the company;

·
a breach by the office holder of his or her duty of care, if such breach was intentional or reckless, but unless such breach was solely negligent;

·
any act or omission intended to derive an illegal personal benefit; or

·
any fine levied against the office holder.

In addition, under the Companies Law, exemption and indemnification of, and procurement of insurance coverage for, our office holders must be approved by our Compensation Committee and our Board of Directors and, with respect to an office holder who is CEO or a director, also by our shareholders. However, according to the Relief Regulations, shareholders’ and Board approvals for the procurement of such insurance coverage are not required if the insurance policy is approved by our Compensation Committee and: (i) the terms of such policy are within the framework for insurance coverage as approved by our shareholders and set forth in our Compensation Policy; (ii) the premium paid under the insurance policy is at fair market value; and (iii) the insurance policy does not and may not have a substantial effect on the Company’s profitability, assets or obligations.
 
Our Insurance and Indemnification
 
Indemnification letters, covering indemnification and insurance of those liabilities imposed under the Companies Law and the Israeli Securities Law, as discussed above, were granted to each of our present office holders and were approved for any future office holders. Hence, we indemnify our office holders to the fullest extent permitted under the Companies Law.
 
We currently hold directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policy for the benefit of our office holders, including our directors. This policy was approved by our Compensation Committee, after confirming that its terms are within the framework set forth for insurance coverage under our Compensation Policy and adhere to the other requirements set forth in the Relief Regulations, as mentioned above.
 
Insofar as indemnification for liabilities arising under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, may be permitted to our directors, officers and controlling persons, we have been advised that, in the opinion of the SEC, such indemnification is against public policy as expressed in the Securities Act and is, therefore, unenforceable.

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Administrative Enforcement
 
The Israeli Securities Law includes an administrative enforcement procedure to be used by the ISA, to enhance the efficacy of enforcement in the securities market in Israel. This administrative enforcement procedure may be applied to any company or person (including director, officer or shareholder of a company) performing any of the actions specifically designated as breaches of law under the Israeli Securities Law. Furthermore, the Israeli Securities Law requires that the CEO of a company supervise and take all reasonable measures to prevent the company or any of its employees from breaching such law. The CEO is presumed to have fulfilled such supervisory duty if the company adopts internal enforcement procedures designed to prevent such breaches, appoints a representative to supervise the implementation of such procedures and takes measures to correct the breach and prevent its reoccurrence.
 
As detailed above, under the Israeli Securities Law, a company cannot obtain insurance against or indemnify a third party (including its officers and/or employees) for any administrative procedure and/or monetary fine (other than for payment of damages to an injured party). The Israeli Securities Law permits insurance and/or indemnification for expenses related to an administrative procedure, such as reasonable legal fees, provided that it is permitted under the company's articles of association.
 
We have adopted and implemented an internal enforcement plan to reduce our exposure to potential breaches of sections in the Companies Law and in the Israeli Securities Law applicable to us. Our Articles of Association and letters of indemnification permit, among others, insurance and/or indemnification as contemplated under the Israeli Securities Law (see “Exculpation, Insurance and Indemnification of Directors and Officers" above).

Internal Auditor

Under the Companies Law, the board of directors of a public company must appoint an internal auditor proposed by the corporate audit committee (see under “Committees of the Board of Directors” – “Corporate Audit Committee”, above). The internal auditor may be an employee of the company but may not be an interested party, an office holder or a relative of the foregoing, nor may the internal auditor be the company’s independent accountant or its representative. The role of the internal auditor is to examine, among other things, whether the company’s conduct complies with applicable law, integrity and orderly business procedure.  The internal auditor has the right to request that the chairman of the corporate audit committee convene a corporate audit committee meeting, and the internal auditor may participate in all corporate audit committee meetings.

We have appointed the firm of Chaikin, Cohen, Rubin & Co., Certified Public Accountants (Isr.) as our internal auditor. Our internal auditor meets the independence requirements of the Companies Law, as detailed above.

D.
Employees
 
As of December 31, 2017, we had 905 employees worldwide, of whom 218 were employed in research, development and engineering, 465 in sales and marketing including supporting functions, 116 in management and administration and 106 in operations.  Of these employees, 353 were based in Israel, 46 were based in the United States, 207 were based in EMEA (not including Israel), 204 were based in Latin America and 95 were based in Asia Pacific.
 
In addition, during 2017 we have employed on average 215 temporary employees, primarily in India, supporting the projects we have won in this country. The majority of the costs of these temporary employees were included in the cost of revenues in our financial statements.
 
We and our Israeli employees are not parties to any collective bargaining agreements. However, with respect to such employees, we are subject to Israeli labor laws, regulations and collective bargaining agreements applicable to us by extension orders of the Israeli Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, as are in effect from time to time. Generally, we provide our employees with benefits and working conditions above the legally required minimums.

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Israeli law generally and applicable extension orders require severance pay upon the retirement or death of an employee or termination without due cause, payment to pension funds or similar funds in lieu thereof and require us and our employees to make payments to the National Insurance Institute, which is similar to the U.S. Social Security Administration. Such amounts also include payments by the employee for mandatory health insurance.

Substantially all of our employment agreements include employees’ undertakings with respect to non-competition, assignment to us of intellectual property rights developed in the course of employment and confidentiality. However, it should be noted that the enforceability of non-competition undertakings is rather limited under the local laws in certain jurisdictions, including Israel.

To date, we have not experienced labor-related work stoppages and believe that our relations with our employees are good.

The employees of our other subsidiaries are subject to local labor laws and regulations that vary from country to country. In certain locations such as Brazil and Norway we are a party to collective bargaining agreements.

Share Ownership
 
The following table sets forth certain information regarding the ordinary shares owned, and stock options held, by our directors and senior management as of March 27, 2018.  The percentage of outstanding ordinary shares is based on 78,130,978 ordinary shares outstanding as of March 27, 2018.
 
Name
 
Number of Ordinary Shares(1)
   
Percentage of Outstanding Ordinary Shares
   
Number of Stock Options Held(2)
   
Range of exercise prices per share of stock options
   
Number of RSUs Held(2)
 
Zohar Zisapel(3)
   
10,888,341
     
13.9
     
350,000
   
$
2.02 - $11.75
     
-
 
Ira Palti
   
1,183,374
     
1.5
     
1,575,000
   
$
1.16 - $13.04
     
4,120
 
All directors and senior management as a group consisting of 14 people(4)
   
13,477,382
     
17.2
     
4,127,167
   
$
1.14-$13.04
     
67,620
 
 
(1)
Consists of ordinary shares and options to purchase ordinary shares which are vested or shall become vested within 60 days as of March 27, 2018.
 
(2)
Each stock option is exercisable into one ordinary share, and expires between 6 and 10 years from the date of its grant. Of the number of stock options listed, 350,000, 1,181,374 and 2,939,041 options, are vested or shall become vested within 60 days of March 27, 2018 for Mr. Zisapel, Mr. Palti and all directors and senior management as a group, respectively. No RSU’s listed are vested or expected to vest within 60 days as of March 27, 2018.
 
(3)
The number of ordinary shares held by Zohar Zisapel includes 10,717 shares held by RAD Data Communications Ltd., of which Mr. Zisapel is a principal shareholder and chairman of the board.
 
(4)
Each of the directors and senior managers other than Messrs. Zohar Zisapel and Ira Palti, beneficially owns less than 2% of the outstanding ordinary shares as of March 27, 2018 (including options held by each such person and which are vested or shall become vested within 60 days as of March 27, 2018) and have therefore not been separately listed.
 
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Stock Option Plan
 
The Amended and Restated Share Option and RSU Plan
 
In September 2003, our shareholders approved and adopted our 2003 share option plan, designed to grant options pursuant to Section 102 or 3(i) of the Ordinance, and to be a “qualified plan” as defined by U.S. tax law. Our worldwide employees, directors, consultants and contractors are eligible to participate in this plan. Our Compensation Committee of our Board of Directors administers the plan. Generally, options granted under this plan expire between six to ten years from the date of grant. In addition, our Board of Directors has sole discretion to determine, in the event of a transaction with another corporation, as defined in the plan, that each option shall either: (i) be substituted for an option to purchase securities of the other corporation; (ii) be assumed by the other corporation; or (iii) automatically vest in full. In the event that all or substantially all of the issued and outstanding share capital of the company shall be sold, each option holder shall be obligated to participate in the sale and to sell his/her options at the price equal to that of any other share sold.
 
In September, 2010, our Board of Directors amended the share option plan so as to enable the grant of RSUs pursuant to such plan (the “Amended and Restated Share Option and RSU Plan”, or “the Plan”).
 
In December 2012, our Board of Directors extended the Plan for an additional ten-year period through December 31, 2022.  The Plan has been approved by the Israeli Tax Authority as required by applicable law. The following tables present information regarding option and RSU grants under the Plan as of December 31, 2017.
 
Cumulative Ordinary Shares Reserved for Option Grants
   
Remaining Reserved Shares Available for Option Grants
   
Options Outstanding
   
Weighted Average Exercise Price
 
  20,374,299       413,701       7,939,978     $ 3.61  
                                                     
Cumulative Ordinary Shares Reserved for RSU Grants
   
Remaining Reserved Shares Available for RSU Grants
   
RSUs Outstanding
   
Weighted Average Exercise Price
 
  1,861,389       ---       327,093     $ 0.00  
                                                             
The following table presents certain option and RSU grant information concerning the distribution of options and RSUs (granted under the Plan) among directors and employees of the Company as of December 31, 2017:

   
Options and RSUs Outstanding
   
Unvested Options and RSUs
 
Directors and senior management
   
4,316,850
     
1,523,015
 
                 
All other grantees
   
3,950,221
     
1,841,241
 
 
Amendment of the Plan
 
Subject to applicable law, our Board of Directors may amend the Plan, provided that any action by our Board of Directors which will alter or impair the rights or obligations of an option holder requires the prior consent of that option holder. Our board last amended the Plan in August 2014, extending the authority originally granted to our Compensation Committee to provide grantees, in their notice of grant, with a “Double Trigger" acceleration mechanism upon the occurrence of certain events.
 
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ITEM 7.          MAJOR SHAREHOLDERS AND RELATED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
 
Major Shareholders
 
The following table sets forth stock ownership information as of March 27, 2018 (unless otherwise noted below) with respect to each person who is known by us to be the beneficial owner of more than 5% of our outstanding ordinary shares, based on information provided to us by the holders or disclosed in public filings with the SEC.
 
Except where otherwise indicated, and except pursuant to community property laws, we believe, based on information furnished by such owners, that the beneficial owners of the ordinary shares listed below have sole investment and voting power with respect to such shares. The shareholders listed below do not have any different voting rights from any of our other shareholders.  We know of no arrangements which would, at a subsequent date, result in a change of control of our company.
 
Total shares beneficially owned in the table below include shares that may be acquired upon the exercise of options that are exercisable within 60 days.  The shares that may be issued under these options are treated as outstanding only for purposes of determining the percent owned by the person or group holding the options but not for the purpose of determining the percentage ownership of any other person or group.  Each of our directors and officers who is also a director or officer of an entity listed in the table below disclaims ownership of our ordinary shares owned by such entity.
 
Name
 
Number of Ordinary Shares(2)
   
Percentage of Outstanding Ordinary Shares(1)
 
Zohar Zisapel (3)           
   
10,888,341
     
13.94
%
Joseph D. Samberg (4)
   
6,784,842
     
8.68
%
 
(1)
Based on 78,130,978 ordinary shares outstanding as of March 27, 2018.
 
(2)
Consists of ordinary shares and options to purchase ordinary shares, which are vested or shall become vested within 60 days as of March 27, 2018.

(3)
Zohar Zisapel’s address is 24 Raoul Wallenberg St., Tel Aviv 69719, Israel. The ordinary shares held by Zohar Zisapel include 10,717 shares held by RAD Data Communications Ltd., of which Mr. Zisapel is a principal shareholders and the chairman of the board.

(4)
Joseph D. Samberg's address is 1091 Boston Post Road, Rye, NY 10580.
 
As of March 19, 2018, approximately 97% of our ordinary shares were registered for trade and held in the United States and there were 27 record holders with addresses in the United States. These numbers are not representative of the number of beneficial holders of our shares nor are they representative of where such beneficial holders reside due to the fact that many of these ordinary shares were held of record by brokers or other nominees (including one U.S. nominee company, CEDE & Co., which held approximately 96.8% of our outstanding ordinary shares as of said date).
 
Related Party Transactions
 
Zohar Zisapel, the Chairman of our Board of Directors and a principal shareholder of our company, beneficially owns 13.94% of our ordinary shares as of March 27, 2018. Yehuda Zisapel, the brother of Zohar Zisapel, is also a shareholder, who together with Nava Zisapel beneficially owns 4.57% of our ordinary shares as of March 27, 2018.  Zohar and Yehuda Zisapel do not vote as a group and do not have a voting agreement. 

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Zohar Zisapel is the Chairman of the board of, and holds shares in, RADWIN Ltd., RADIFLOW Ltd., Hailo Technologies Ltd.; and Innoviz Ltd. He also serves as a director in the following companies, in a few of which he holds shares: RADCOM Ltd., Amdocs Ltd., NUANCE HEARING Ltd., RAD Data Communications Ltd., Packetlight Networks Ltd., CyberInt Technologies Ltd., Armis Security Ltd., Cylus Ltd.; and several other private holdings and real estate. Zohar Zisapel also holds shares in the following companies: Satixfy Ltd., Nucleix Ltd., Allot Communications Ltd., Silicom Ltd., Ellomay Capital Ltd., Vascular Grafts Solutions Ltd., Perflow Ltd., Vectorious Ltd., ExpanDB Ltd., Siraj Ltd.and Galil Software Ltd. The above list does not constitute a complete list of Zohar Zisapel’s holdings. 

Yehuda Zisapel holds shares and serves as a director in a few of the above-mentioned companies, as well as in additional companies, including: RADWARE Ltd., Bynet Data Communications Ltd., Bynet Electronics Ltd., Bynet Semech (Outsourcing) Ltd., Bynet Systems Applications Ltd., Ab-Net Communications Ltd., BYNET Software Systems Ltd., Internet Binat Ltd., SecurityDam Ltd., Binat Business Ltd, ACE – Assured Customer Experience Ltd.  and several other private holdings, real estate and medical devices companies. The above list does not constitute a complete list of Yehuda Zisapel’s holdings.

Some of the companies referred to above are known as the “RAD-BYNET Group".  Members of the RAD-BYNET Group sometimes share expenses with us, on an as-needed basis, for information systems infrastructure, administrative services, medical insurance, as well as in connection with logistics services, such as transportation and cafeteria facilities - all by arm’s length transactions. In addition, the Company purchases certain equipment, other services, software and licenses from members of the RAD-BYNET Group. The aggregate amount of such purchases and shared expenses in 2017 was approximately $2.1 million.
 
We, as well as other companies of the RAD-BYNET Group, may market through the same distribution channels.  In addition, the Company markets and sells some products of other members of the RAD-BYNET Group, which are complementary to our products, while some members of the RAD-BYNET Group market and sell part of our products, which are complimentary to their products. Certain products of members of the RAD-BYNET Group may be used in place of (and thus may be deemed to be competitive with) our products.
 
Ms. Yael Langer, one of our directors, acts as general counsel for several RAD-BYNET Group companies and serves as a director in RADWARE Ltd.
 
We generally ascertain the market prices for goods and services that can be obtained at arms’ length from unaffiliated third parties before entering into any transaction with a related party.  In addition, all of our related-party transactions with members of the RAD-BYNET Group are approved by our Audit Committee and then by our Board of Directors.  As a result, we believe that the terms of the transactions in which we have engaged, and are currently engaged with other members of the RAD-BYNET Group are beneficial to us and no less favorable to us than terms, which might be available to us from unaffiliated third parties. Any future transaction and arrangement with entities in which our office holders may have a personal interest will require approval by our Audit Committee, our Board of Directors and, if applicable, our shareholders.
 
Lease Arrangements
 
We lease most of our office space for our current headquarters and principal administrative, finance, marketing and sales operations from real estate holding companies controlled by Yehuda and Zohar Zisapel. The leased facility, located in Tel Aviv, Israel is approximately 59,300square feet of office space and approximately 4,000 square feet of warehouse space. The leases for this facility will expire in the end of December 2019. The aggregate amount of rent and maintenance expenses related to these properties was approximately $1.8 million in 2017.
 
Supply Arrangement
 
We purchase products from certain RAD-BYNET Group companies, which we integrate into our products or product offerings.  The aggregate purchase price of these components in 2017 was approximately $1.3 million.
 
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Sales Arrangement
 
We sell products through RAD-BYNET Group companies, which they integrate into their products or product offerings. The aggregate selling price of these components in 2017 was approximately $0.2 million.
 
Registration Rights
 
In connection with the private placement of preferred shares before our initial public offering in August 2000, several of our shareholders were granted registration rights with respect to ordinary shares that were converted from preferred shares immediately prior to the completion of our initial public offering.  The registration rights were granted to each of:
 
·      the holders of the ordinary shares resulting from the conversion of such preferred shares; and
 
·      Yehuda Zisapel and Zohar Zisapel.
 
Under the registration rights agreement, each of these shareholders has the right to have its ordinary shares included in certain of our registration statements.
 
ITEM 8.          FINANCIAL INFORMATION
 
Consolidated Statements and Other Financial Information
 
The annual financial statements required by this item are found at the end of this annual report, beginning on Page F-1.
 
Export Sales
 
In 2017, our sales to end users located outside of Israel amounted to $330.1 million, or 99.4% of our $332.0 million revenues for this year.
 
Legal Proceedings

On January 5, 2015, a motion to approve a purported class action, naming the Company, its CEO and its directors as defendants, was filed with the District Court of Tel-Aviv (Economic Department), on behalf of holders of ordinary shares, including those who purchased shares during the period following the Company’s follow on public offering in July 2014 (the “Motion").
 
The purported class action is based on Israeli law and alleges breaches of duties by the Company and its management on account of false and misleading statements in the Company’s SEC filings and public statements, during the period between July and October 2014. The plaintiff's principal claim is that immediately prior to the follow on public offering, the defendants presented misleading guidance concerning the expected financial results for the third quarter of 2014, indicating an anticipated improvement in the rate of gross profit based on orders which were already received by the Company at the time of such presentation. Although the plaintiff admits that, in accordance with the actual results for the third quarter, the Company did meet the guidance as far as revenues were concerned, the actual rate of gross profit turned out to be much lower than the one anticipated. Plaintiff argues that at the time such guidance was presented by the defendants, they already knew, or should have known, that it was incorrect. The plaintiff seeks specified compensatory damages in a sum of up to $75,000,000, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.
 
The Motion was served to the Company on January 6, 2015 and the Company filed its response on June 21, 2015. On October 22, 2015, the plaintiff filed a request for discovery of specific documents. The Company filed its response to the plaintiffs' request for discovery on January 25, 2016, and the plaintiffs submitted their response on February 24, 2016. On June 8, 2016, the District Court partially accepted the plaintiff's request for discovery, and ordered the Company to disclose some of the requested documents. The Company's request to appeal this decision was denied by the Supreme Court on October 25, 2016, and the Company disclosed the required documents to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs filed their reply to the Company’s response to the Motion on April 2, 2017.
 
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In May 2017 the Company filed two requests: the first, requesting to dismiss the Plaintiff’s response to the Company’s defense, or, alternatively, to allow the Company to respond to it; the second, to first hear the Company’s claims with regards to the legal question of the governing law. A preliminary hearing was held on May 22, 2017, where the court set dates for response to the Company’s above-mentioned requests and for evidence hearings. On July 17, 2017, the court allowed the Company to respond to the plaintiff’s response and on July 29, 2017 the Court denied the Company’s second request. The Company filed its response to the plaintiff’s response on September 18, 2017.
 
On October 2, 2017, the plaintiff filed a request to summon our Chairman of the Board, Mr. Zisapel, and our CEO, Mr. Palti, to the upcoming evidence hearing. The Company filed its response to this request on October 26, 2017; and the plaintiff filed its reply to Company's response.

The first evidence hearing took place on November 2, 2017. During this hearing the Company agreed to consider summoning to the second evidence hearing one of the above-mentioned Company's officers, and on November 8, 2017, the Company advised the court that it agrees that Mr. Palti will be summoned to the next evidence hearing. The second and final evidence hearing took place on January 8, 2018.
 
After submission of summaries by both parties to the court, currently scheduled for the beginning of July 2018, the court is expected to issue its decision whether to approve the Motion or to deny it.