NSN's rivals may seize optical opportunity

Nokia Siemens’ decision to sell its optical networking business gives the firm’s rivals a chance to move in on its customers, a senior Ovum analyst claims.
The vendor revealed last week it will sell the business to Marlin Equity Partners, as part of a strategy to shed non-core assets and focus solely on its mobile broadband business. Dana Cooperson, leader of Ovum’s Network Infrastructure Telecoms practice, believes the sale opens the door for rivals.
“Competitors will take advantage of this ownership change and related confusion to gain any advantage in NSN’s accounts,” she says.
The fact Merlin is an equity firm means it could look to quickly resell NSN’s business, Cooper notes. “The details of the transaction were not released, so it is difficult to gauge Merlin’s commitment to turning the optical business around.” Juniper Networks is tipped as one potential bidder in the case of a second sale.
Overall, NSN’s decision makes more sense than its original commitment to keeping the optical business, Cooper says. “NSN’s optical business has been slipping for years with no clear plan to improve; it has not done the kind of fundamental R&D that its main competitors (e.g. Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco Systems, Huawei Technologies) are doing.”