LTE: Acquiring Nortel's LTE knowledge provides muscle, says Ericsson

Following approval from the Canadian and US courts that Nortel assets could be transferred to Ericsson--despite RIM's continued protestations--the Swedish equipment manufacturer has expressed quiet satisfaction with the LTE knowledge and experience it would be gaining.

While the company said that the US$1.3 billion takeover of Nortel's wireless networking division would provide Ericsson with an increased presence in North America, it confirmed plans to continue with Nortel's initial development of LTE and would take on at least 2500 ex-Nortel employees, of which 400 were working on LTE development. "The acquisition significantly expands Ericsson's footprint in this region, particularly as the US is emerging as an early adopter of LTE technology," said the company.

Speaking to investors, Hans Vestberg, Ericsson's CEO-in-waiting, said the Nortel deal would "add LTE muscles" to its existing development efforts in that area, describing it as a "step increase" in its LTE investment.

This comment provoked RIM's co-CEO, Jim Balsillie, to express his extreme disappointment that Nortel's world-leading technology seemed destined to leave Canada and that Canada's own Export Development Corporation was preparing to help by lending C$300 million to another bidder. He suggested that the development of Nortel's LTE technology, funded in part by Canadian tax-payers, ought to remain under Canadian, rather then foreign, ownership.

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