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Nokia Siemens Networks readies for takeoff

Of all the industries that the soon-to-be-merged Nokia Siemens Networks will play in, the most important are radio access; services core and applications, which includes IMS; and transport and broadband access. Just which is of primary importance depends on which of the company’s customers you are talking about, says Eric Estroff, director of marketing in networks for Nokia.
“When you have so many different customers you are targeting, they each are going to have different needs,” says Estroff, adding that a company as broad as Nokia Siemens Networks has to focus on a lot of areas. “We are trying to narrow it down though. Here in North America we were able to look at what key customers we were going after and what their challenges were, and we knocked the number of business units down from from seven to four.”
The biggest benefit of the merger is scale, which is especially important in light of the mergers between Ericsson and Marconi, and Alcatel and Lucent, he adds. “In order to be competitive in this market we both needed to achieve scale. And given both of our product portfolios, it is a pretty good fit,” he said. “Our combined mobile carrier revenue was around 17.1 billion Euros between the two companies in 2006, and that put us very close to the top spot among the three companies.”
The merged company’s installed base of 300 wireless and 300 wireline customers around the globe also will benefit from the scale the merger offers as well as the unique innovation that Nokia Siemens Networks brings to the table, he said. For example, Nokia Siemens Networks will be able to satisfy the differing needs of its wireless customers with the Flexi Base Station. In addition to supporting a wide variety of frequencies and technologies, the base station’s small footprint makes it easy for customers to deploy and helps them decrease their power consumption, which in turn lowers their energy bills, he adds.
If there is any downside to the merger, it will be the downsizing that will occur as the merged company realizes cost synergies to the tune of $1.5 billion globally, says Estroff.
Estroff says Nokia ranks high in mobile devices and infrastructure because the company has been making devices and building networks for customers since the early days of the wireless industry. And during that time, the company has amassed a very large footprint and global scale.
“We have a good reputation globally because we have been in this business for such a long time,” says Estroff. “We have built a reputation as the leading infrastructure, services and device provider since day one of GSM.” The company’s unique approach to the market and innovative outlook has helped to keep Nokia on top, too, he adds.
Once the merger is final on April 1, Nokia Siemens Networks has exciting times ahead. Sprint Nextel Corp. recently named Nokia its “key infrastructure and consumer electronics device provider for its 4G WiMAX next-generation mobility network.”
Nokia Siemens Networks will get its share of the more than $2 billion that Sprint Nextel plans to invest in its WiMAX venture by:
–Being a major supplier to Sprint Nextel for WiMAX network infrastructure, including the Flexi WiMAX base transceiver stations,
–Developing and marketing WiMAX-enabled mobile devices in significant volumes, including multimedia computers and Internet tablets,
–Jointly developing mobility services and applications to improve the customer experience, and,
–Conducting co-marketing efforts to drive market development and support global adoption to help establish worldwide roaming.
Nokia also inked a deal with T-Mobile USA Inc. to supply third-generation wireless equipment and services for T-Mobile’s rollout of wideband CDMA. Nokia is delivering its Flexi W-CDMA Base Station optimized for T-Mobile’s newly acquired AWS spectrum bands. T-Mobile will be the first U.S. operator to deploy the fully HSPA-capable base station.

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