Nokia Siemens eyes Nortel breakup -- wireless unit tops list

As Nortel struggles to find a viable route out of bankruptcy, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is being put forward as the most likely purchaser of Nortel's wireless business unit. While Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent--and possibly Chinese infrastructure vendors--could make a pre-emptive bid, analysts believe NSN will want to win any bidding battle due to the need for it to strengthen its North American revenues.

Nortel, which claims to have received more interest in its mobile infrastructure and enterprise systems than expected (it would say this, or course), has something NSN would dearly like--a long-term relationship with Verizon Wireless. NSN made a significant effort starting in 2007 to build stronger links with the company, with the result that it was recently awarded with a contract for IMS from Verizon Wireless.

Another factor behind NSN's interest in Nortel is the in-depth discussions ongoing between Verizon Wireless and Nokia about an LTE device agreement; Nokia could be very interested in further bolstering its negotiating position with the US-based operator through a buyout of Nortel's wireless product line.

For more on this story:
Rethink Wireless and GLG Group 

Related stories:
Nortel regroups on Carrier Ethernet, bets on optical
Nortel posts $2.1 billion Q4 loss, pushes bonus plan
Report: Nortel may sell its major units 
Which companies will Nortel take down in its crash?

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