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CDMA maven cozies up to NSN as that company bids on of one of its biggest wireless customers

Airvana 'Looking Forward' to NSN/Nortel

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
6/23/2009
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CDMA expert Airvana Inc. (Nasdaq: AIRV) is "looking forward" to the Nokia Networks ' buyout of Nortel Networks Ltd. 's CDMA and LTE wireless business.

"From our point of view, it's a very strong move," says Paul Callahan, Airvana vice president of business development, of the $650 million deal.

The whole thing is so important to Airvana that the company even issued a press release about it. (See Airvana Pals Up to NSN.)

"The sale to Nokia Siemens Networks would place Nortel’s CDMA business in the hands of a global wireless infrastructure provider with outstanding customer support capabilities,” Airvana CEO Randy Battat said in the statement. “We expect to work in close partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks in the years ahead."

In fact, Callahan tells Unstrung that Airvana expects to continue working with many of the same people that it worked with at Nortel.

The reason Airvana is putting in extra effort to chat up NSN is because Nortel has been a key CDMA customer over the years. Nortel represented 95 percent of Airvana's revenues for the first quarter of 2009, and the firm has continued to supply CDMA gear to more than 30 wireless operators around the world through its partnership. (See Airvana's Nortel Exposure .)

Airvana has a similar CDMA OEM deal with Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and is working with Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) and NSN on femtocell products. In fact, as Unstrung has noted before, Airvana is an active behind-the-scenes player in the telecom market. (See Airvana: The Quiet Startup and Airvana's Femto Flavors.)

NSN isn't answering questions about any possible changes in the status of the Airvana/Nortel partnership yet. "It's still very early stages so it'd be too early to comment on this," an NSN spokesperson tells Unstrung.

– Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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