Nokia Siemens replaces thousands of rivals' base stations

Nokia Siemens Networks replaced 18,000 base stations made by its rivals as telecom carriers vie for lower operational costs, in the latest sign of fierce battle in the network equipment sector, a Reuters report said.

Nokia Siemens Networks on Tuesday said 22 operators in 15 countries had chosen its products to replace the installed base stations of other vendors, including all its large rivals, since the venture started operating in April 2007, the report said.

Nokia Siemens, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent are the leading players in the telecoms network market but have been increasingly challenged by Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE in the last few years.

With aggressive pricing Huawei took the No. 4 spot in the global telecom network gear market in the January-March quarter, bypassing Nortel Networks and Motorola, according to research firm Dell'Oro.

Ericsson and Nokia Siemens saw their profits falling in the first quarter, while Alcatel-Lucent continued to report losses.

All three have forecast no market growth this year.

Nokia Siemens Networks CEO Simon Beresford-Wylie said the firm was focusing very closely on profitability and cash flow.

Replacing other vendors' technology is not unusual in the competitive industry, but 18,000 base stations would be enough to create a 3G network in a large European country, the Reuters report said.

'This shows how tough is the competitive situation in the market. I don't think they could be making huge margins on these,' said eQ Bank analyst Jari Honko.

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