NSN buys Motorola's wireless infrastructure biz for $1.2B; What's in store for the WiMAX piece?

As expected, Nokia Siemens Networks and Motorola (NYSE:MOT) announced a deal that has NSN acquiring the majority of Motorola's wireless network infrastructure assets for $1.2 billion in cash.

The deal covers Motorola's GSM, CDMA, WiMAX and LTE businesses along with the vendor's 7,500 employees, and NSN gains incumbent relationships with more than 50 operators worldwide. In particular, NSN gets a stronger foothold in the U.S. market with operators like Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) and Sprint (NYSE:S), while its presence in the Asia-Pacific region, where Motorola has sharply focused on, is bolstered since Motorola has an LTE contract KDDI and has been gaining some significant traction with China Mobile on the TD-LTE side. NSN lost out last year in a bidding war with larger rival Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) for bankrupt Nortel Networks' main wireless assets. Ericsson won Nortel's CDMA and LTE assets for $1.13 billion.

NSN expects that based on revenue, with the addition of the Motorola wireless network infrastructure business, it will become the third largest wireless infrastructure vendor in the U.S., the top foreign wireless vendor in Japan and strengthen its current second place position in the global infrastructure segment.

How aggressive NSN will be in selling WiMAX is unknown. Motorola is a top WiMAX vendor, while NSN chose to partner for WiMAX business and shift its resources away from he technology to focus on LTE.

When asked how aggressive NSN might be in going after WiMAX deals, Susan Shramm, the head of NSN's North American marketing, told FierceBroadbandWireless that the question would be determined after NSN evaluates customer opportunities. At any rate, the addition of WiMAX will help NSN to "complete our plan to play in the evolution of WiMAX." WiMAX operators such as Clearwire have talked up a path to TD-LTE (and even FDD LTE if they have the spectrum) from WiMAX. That is a piece NSN may be looking to capitalize on. In June, Motorola introduced a solution for WiMAX operators looking to upgrade their existing networks to 802.16m or TD-LTE or add LTE to their existing WiMAX networks. The single radio access network reuses most of the base station for migration and can reuse up to 100 percent of other major network components such as the IP core, backhaul and device management to allow WiMAX operator to either upgrade to 802.16m or LTE.

For more:
- see this release
- read this FierceWireless article

Related articles:
NSN would get TD-LTE experience with Motorola buy
Report: NSN interested in Motorola network unit
Motorola introduces single RAN solution aiding WiMAX to LTE transition
Nokia Siemens retreats from WiMAX as LTE beckons

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