Archive for November 13th, 2009

Ericsson’s Nortel CDMA-LTE acquisition final

Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) today officially closed its acquisition of Nortel’s CDMA businessand long-term evolution assets, allowing it toassume the mantle of largest telecom equipment vendor in NorthAmerica.

The acquisition will add 2500 new employees to Ericsson’s ranks, most of them inNortel’s wireless division HQ in the Dallas area and its R&D facilities in Ottawa, but also in China.They willjoinEricsson’s wireless operations in the Dallas area, its San Jose-based IP division (formerly Redback Networks and Entrisphere) and the 6000 Sprint (NYSE:S) employees who will come over to Ericsson as part of its network management outsourcing dealwith the CDMA operator. The resulting operations will make North America Ericsson’s largest market, surpassing even Europe in total revenues, as well as make it the largest telecom equipment vendor in the region, surpassing even Franco-American rival Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU)

“We’re now engaged with all of the major operators in North America,” said chief technology officer Hakan Eriksson, who last week announced his plans to relocate to San Jose to head up its IP business and raise Ericsson’sexecutiveprofile in the US. “We’ve gone from having a few thousand people in North America to–with the Nortel deal and the Sprint outsourcing contract–havingaround 14,000 employees. That makes it the largest group in Ericsson outside of Sweden.”

Ericsson paid $1.13 billion for the assets, which Nortel was forced to sell while in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Compettor Nokia Siemens Networks (NYSE:NOK, NYSE:SI) made the intial move on Nortel’s assets, bidding $650 million for its CDMA and LTE divisions. A bidding war ensued, however, which Ericsson wound up winning.

SkitterTV sounds off from TelcoTV floor

SkitterTV drew buzz at the TelcoTV show this week thanks to a partnership with Zeugma Systems (for service quality) and a deal that puts its service — a combination of local broadcast TV and Internet video — on the Roku set-top box. Skitter’s president Robert Saunders describes his company’s strategy and some recent developments from the TelcoTV show floor in an interview you can listen to here.

Nortel postpones optical, Ethernet unit auction

Nortel Networks (OTCBB:NRTLQ) has postponed the auction of its Metro Ethernet Networks unit, which was scheduled to be held today.

“In light of ongoing discussions with interested parties, [Nortel] has decided to not hold the previously scheduled auction today in relation to the sale of its global Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet businesses,” the company said in a statement today. “Qualified bidders are now required to submit offers by November 17, 2009.”

The news puts a damper on Ciena (NASDAQ:CIEN), whose $521-million stalking-horse bid for Nortel’s assets (that’s slightly less than half of the unit’s 2009 revenue) would catapult its stature globally and domestically.

Other potential bidders may include Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Huawei, Tellabs, Cisco, and Infinera. In October, one analyst suggested that interest among potential buyers had waned in recent months, a notion that seems to bear more credence now that Nortel is seeking more time to attract alternative bids. More recently, however, UBS analyst Nikos Theodosopoulos called NSN a “likely active bidder” that could push the purchase price above $750 million. more

Dell smartphone official in China; is AT&T next?

dell-mini-3.jpgAfter months — even years — of speculation, Dell officially entered the smartphone market today, releasing its Dell 3 Mini smartphone on Open Mobile System, China Mobile’s (NYSE:CHL) version of the Android operating system. After it launches in China later this month, the Dell 3 Mini will make its way to Brazil’s Claro, and — while no U.S. plans have been announced — it should be headed to AT&T (NYSE:T) in the U.S. next, according to ABI Research. more

Only two regions remain in AT&T union talks

Only two districts remain in AT&T’s (NYSE:T) region-by-region negotiations with union workers after the company signed a four-year agreement with Southwest employees this week.

AT&T’s contract with workers in District 3, which includes nine Southeastern states, expired in August. And its contract in District 1, which includes Connecticut, expired in April. Together they represent just 30% of AT&T’s roughly 120,000 landline employees.

Agreements in those remaining regions don’t appear likely to be coming any time soon. Union officials in District 1 haven’t met with AT&T officials since October. And yesterday William Henderson, a union president there, called AT&T’s region-by-region approach a “divide and conquer” strategy, though the company pointed out that its existing labor contracts are divided into these regions.

Former AOL VP launches Open Mobile Solutions

This post is part of a series leading up to an upcoming Connected Planet feature story on open mobile. Road to Open: Read part 1 HERE and part 2 HERE.

jai-jaisimha.jpg

Developers don’t actually care aboutmobile operating systems; they just want to reach people, said Jai Jaisimha, CEO of Open Mobile Solutions. Likewise, consumers buy devices based on their functionality, not the OS. With these two truths in mind, Jaisimha left his post as a vice president for AOL Mobile in the summer to start OMS, an open-source initiative aimed at making it easier for developers to build apps that can run on as many devices as possible. more

What Google gets with Gizmo5

As rumored, Google Thursday confirmed its purchase of VoIP firm Gizmo5, instantly adding Skype-like functionality — and an open source bent — to its Google Voice service. Credit TechCrunch for sniffing out the deal earlier this week.

The acquisition as it plays out will likely be used by Google to add more integrated outbound and, in particular, computer-based softphone calling to the Google Voice service, more than ever setting up Google Voice as a PSTN or mobile service replacement rather than just a complement as it is today. more

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