More major changes to the telecom vendor landscape could be on the way, with multiple reports suggesting that Nokia is considering approaching Alcatel-Lucent for some kind of partnership or merger.
Possible options being considered include a merger between Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent's mobile equipment unit, the sources said.
Nokia could use the cash it gets from the $7.2 billion sale of its mobile device unit to Microsoft to make an offer for Alcatel-Lucent's wireless assets, or even the entire company.
No firm decisions have been made and Alcatel-Lucent has not yet been approached, according to the reports. But speculation about some kind of co-operation between NSN and Alcatel-Lucent has been circling for years.
Reuters estimates that combining with Alcatel-Lucent's wireless business would give NSN a mobile market share of around 30%, more than Huawei and closer to market leader Ericsson.
Both stories also mention that rival vendors may also be interested in acquiring Alcatel-Lucent or at least some of its assets, so Alcatel-Lucent may be in no hurry to sell.
NSN is set to become a core focus of the slimmed-down Nokia once it sells of its handset business. The company agreed to acquire Siemens' 50% stake in the former joint venture in July for €1.7 billion ($2.29 billion).