Nokia Siemens retreats from WiMAX as LTE beckons

Nokia Siemens Networks is transferring more of its research, development and base station production efforts from WiMAX to HSPA+ and LTE, according to Unstrung. The action follows similar moves from several other major equipment suppliers, and coincides with Nokia Siemens' plans to acquire Nortel Networks' LTE assets.

"We have already shifted a part of our resources away from WiMAX to HSPA+ and LTE," Marc Rouanne, head of radio access at NSN, told Unstrung. "We're looking for our suppliers and partners to deliver what we would have done ourselves in-house. A much larger part of the RF equipment will be supplied by our partners." Rouanne said WiMAX will have a smaller impact on the wireless market than the company previously expected; as a result, Nokia Siemens will stop making its own standalone WiMAX base station.

However, Rouanne said NSN is not jumping ship from the WiMAX market altogether. "We're not stopping, cancelling or getting out of the market," he said. "We still have a strong offering in WiMAX."

The shift in priorities is clear though; Nokia Siemens has seen an uptick in demand for HSPA+ and LTE, Rouanne indicated, which is part of the company's motivation to grab at Nortel's CDMA and LTE assets for $650 million. Bids for Nortel's wireless assets are due July 21 and an auction date is set for July 24 in New York City.

Other large vendors also have shunned WiMAX. Ericsson early on decided not to invest in WiMAX and Nortel offloaded its WiMAX efforts to Alvarion in 2008.

For more:
- see this Unstrung article

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Article updated July 2 to correct information about Alcatel-Lucent.