Nokia Siemens Networks continues to believe the United States will be an engine for mobile broadband growth next year, a key executive said.
"Yes, I don't see any other region that would take that role from them," Nokia Siemens CMO Bosco Novak told Reuters. "Demand in the U.S. is being driven by smartphones. ... They have become a must-have item for the middle-class consumer."
Novak said he expects overall capital expenditures by operators to remain stable next year. "I think that compared to a year ago, there is a much more stable confidence there," he said. "This is a sober, solid recovery. Not too hyper but also clearly not depressed."
Amid dramatic smartphone sales, U.S. carriers also are ramping up their next-generation network buildouts. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) plans to deploy LTE in 38 markets by year-end. AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile USA are expanding HSPA+ deployments, and AT&T will launch LTE by the middle of next year. And Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), through its partnership with Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR), will continue to expand its mobile WiMAX play.
Novak said Nokia Siemens has historically been weak in the U.S. market, but that its $1.2 billion acquisition of Motorola's (NYSE:MOT) wireless networks business will help it springboard ahead. The deal bumps NSN from sixth place in the market to the third biggest vendor, he said, and will bring in new customers. Motorola customers include Verizon and Sprint, among others.
Indeed, Sprint is in the midst of deciding vendors for its multi-year network modernization project, and NSN likely is bidding for the contract. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said during the company's earnings conference call that the carrier hopes to announce its vendor selections by year-end.
- see this Reuters article
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