Nokia makes big play for small cells with Mesaplexx buy

Nokia's (NYSE:NOK) acquisition of Mesaplexx is a strategic move in line with new CEO and president Rajeev Suri's plan to acquire smaller firms that will fill gaps in Nokia's product portfolio.

Nokia gained $7.5 billion (5.4 billion euros) in April via the deal to sell its struggling handset business to Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT). Taking an undisclosed amount of that windfall to buy Australia's Mesaplexx gives the Finnish company innovative filter technology that can be used to reduce the size, weight and cost of active antenna or compact small-cell systems.  

In early 2012, Mesaplexx rolled out xCube, its compact radio-frequency (RF) filter technology. In a June 2012 column for FierceWireless, Peter Jarich, vice president of consumer and infrastructure at Current Analysis, noted that Mesaplexx's technology would enable easier small-cell siting.

"This is why Mesaplexx launched its xCube filter solution for reducing the cooling demands on active antennas, supporting space efficiency, power efficiency and multi-band implementations in the process," he said.

Nokia said Mesaplexx's technology can be used to potentially reduce the small-cell form factor by 30 percent or more.

"Those familiar with radio technologies know that while there has been a lot of progress in recent years, filters are one area where new innovations can still yield significant improvements in performance," said Marc Rouanne, executive vice president, Mobile Broadband, at Nokia. "This company's stand-out expertise has the potential to achieve that."

Nokia's Suri said in April that the company, freed from ownership of its handset business, would look for potential acquisitions. He noted at the time that Nokia's three remaining businesses--networks, its navigation business HERE and technologies, which is its patents business--all have opportunities for organic growth.

For more:
- see this Nokia release
- see this ZD Net article

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Jarich: Simplicity vs. complexity- mobile networks, small cells in 2012