Clock ticks as NSN integrates Nortel assets

Nokia Siemens Networks said it plans to complete its acquisition of Nortel Networks' CDMA and LTE businesses by the third quarter, but the pressure may now be on to integrate the assets so NSN can capitalize on many operators' aggressive moves to LTE.

"Time is our enemy," Richard Lowe, Nortel's president of carrier networks, told Telephony. "LTE is not fully commercial yet. There is still an opportunity to merge our LTE platform with another vendor's without affecting the business."

According to ABI Research, at least a dozen carriers will launch LTE networks in 2010. Many have not yet selected their vendors, with the one major U.S. exception being Verizon Wireless, which has selected Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as two of its main LTE vendors. AT&T Mobility and MetroPCS are two other high-profile carriers that will be selecting vendors soon. With its $650-million purchase of Nortel's assets, NSN now has a relevant presence in the North American market, and it needs to maintain that lead.

MetroPCS has said it will launch LTE in the second half of 2010 and AT&T has committed to a commercial launch of LTE in 2011. In May, a UBS Research note indicated that AT&T had short-listed Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei for its trial of LTE technology, but AT&T declined to comment on speculation on which vendors it would pick.

For more:
- see Telephony

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