2010 Prediction No. 2: LTE separates the winners from the losers in the vendor market

When it comes to the battle for LTE contracts, incumbency has been thrown out the window. It's a new slate that allows every vendor to compete for business. That's a scary proposition for some vendors, including Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks, which are getting beat in their own backyards by the likes of Chinese vendor Huawei. Norway's Telenor and Net4Mobility, a joint venture between Tele2 Sweden and the Swedish unit of Telenor, have granted Huawei LTE contracts. The last thing Ericsson and other vendors want to do is cut prices to defend their markets from Huawei. But they will have no choice. The result will be a strain on profit margins, which will be too much for some weaker vendors like NSN to take. Despite the absence of Nortel as a competitor, someone is either going to significantly revamp their business to focus on one business segment, such as network outsourcing, or go out of business. My bet is NSN.