Time ticking on NSN-Nortel LTE integration

Nokia Siemens Networks has said it plans to wrap up its acquisition of Nortel Networks' CDMA and LTE assets by the third quarter of this year. But pressure may be bearing down on NSN to integrate Nortel's LTE assets into its own product portfolio before the LTE market matures and more carriers pick vendors for their next-generation networks.

"Time is our enemy," said Richard Lowe, Nortel's president of carrier networks, told Telephony. "LTE is not fully commercial yet. There is still an opportunity to merge our LTE platform with another vendor's without affecting the business."

According to ABI Research, at least a dozen carriers will launch LTE networks in 2010. Many have not yet selected their vendors, with the one major U.S. exception being Verizon Wireless, which has selected Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as two of its main LTE vendors. AT&T Mobility and MetroPCS are two other high-profile carriers that will be selecting vendors soon. Nokia Siemens' purchase of Nortel's wireless assets for $650 million has been widely seen as a move to boost its presence in the North American market.

MetroPCS has said it will launch LTE in the second half of 2010 and AT&T has committed to a commercial launch of LTE in 2011. In May, a UBS Research note indicated that AT&T had short-listed Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei for its trial of LTE technology, but AT&T declined to comment on speculation on which vendors it would pick.

For more:
- see this Telephony article

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