Are Nortel's LTE patents worth enough for the company to emerge from bankruptcy as a stand-alone company that licenses LTE IPR?
That is the speculation among industry pundits since Nortel held on to the majority of its patents in the sale of its CDMA and LTE wireless assets to Ericsson. While JP Morgan analyst Ehud Gelblum pegged the royalty figure as high as $2.9 billion in a research note earlier this summer, other analysts believe the figure is overblown since the $2.9 billion figure is based on the assumption that Nortel's IP could get a royalty rate of 1 percent of every LTE device sold. Moreover, the number of LTE patents Nortel holds is unclear, ranging from 1,300 to more than 5,000.
The idea of a new Nortel was given further impetus when the company announced last week an extension of protection from Canadian creditors, and said it would continue to "assess other restructuring alternatives".
Those believing in the resurrection of Nortel also point to the increasing interest by RIM to acquire the LTE assets since RIM isn't an infrastructure player and likely won't become one. Speculation is that RIM wants the LTE patents to boost its position the LTE value chain.
- see Rethink Wireless
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