NSN: #1 in LTE contract awards, as private equity firms circle

The infrastructure vendor NSN claims to have won 17 contracts for LTE networks--six of which still remain under wraps. The company said that it was far ahead of its rivals, Ericsson and Huawei, in new LTE deals with its closest competitor having managed to sign less than seven deals.

Commenting on NSN's overall performance, CEO, Rajeev Suri, said that the company had generated positive cash flows from operations in the last few quarters and its deal momentum was now the strongest it had been in two years.

Suri also stated that NSN had the fastest growing managed services segment in the industry, and now had a total of around 180 3G customers.

Despite forecasting that the infrastructure market would remain flat for 2010, Suri claimed that NSN was on track to hit its 2 per cent profitability target for 2010. He accepted that this might be difficult to call after only two quarters given that the equipment market had seen almost a 4 per cent decline in the first half of this year.

Interestingly, Suri said that NSN had been approached by several private equity firms looking to acquire a shareholding. The CEO maintained that NSN would not rule out the possibility of outside investors, although its joint owners, Siemens and Nokia, are thought to be keen to involve others and remove themselves from major shareholdings in NSN.

The CEO said that NSN, following the acquisition of Motorola's network business for US$1.2 billion, had reclaimed the #2 slot from Huawei.

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