Light Reading
Lazaridis makes impassioned plea to keep LTE tech in Canada, says that RIM and Nortel had an LTE deal before the vendor filed for bankruptcy

RIM CEO Calls Nortel LTE Patents a 'National Treasure'

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
8/7/2009
50%
50%

BlackBerry 's co-CEO Mike Lazaridis stood up before the Canadian House of Commons industry committee meeting this morning and made a plea to keep Nortel Networks Ltd. 's Long Term Evolution (LTE) know-how in Canada, saying that the two companies had come very close to an acquisition deal both before and after the vendor filed for bankruptcy.

The bulk of the RIM exec's testimony focused on how the maker of the BlackBerry device had tried to cut several deals with Nortel to acquire both Nortel's LTE-related workforce and its intellectual property (IPR) portfolio for months. This IPR, he stressed, is crucial to keep in Canadian hands.

"During this entire process, Nortel knew exactly what it was we were interested in; we came very close to consummating a deal several times... so close that we were sending emails back and forth about issuing a press release," Lazaridis told the committee.

Lazaridis said that RIM had starting talking about acquiring RIM's LTE assets "months before" Nortel filed for bankruptcy in January 2008. (See Nortel Files for Bankruptcy Protection.) He laid out the sequence of events -- as RIM sees them -- for the Canadian politicos this morning:

  • Months before Chapter 11 proceedings, RIM starts talking to Nortel about acquiring LTE assets.
  • RIM believes a deal is in place, is "surprised" by bankruptcy filing
  • The Chapter 11 process means that RIM "increased the scope of bid"; Lazaridis never exactly explains what RIM was bidding for at that stage.
  • Lazaridis once again "thought we had a deal," when RIM finds out about the stalking horse bid from Nokia Networks .
  • RIM sees the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for the auction procedure. Under the terms of the original stalking horse bid, RIM can only bid for the LTE assets, and the deal doesn't include the IPR that RIM wants. Lazaridis decides that the company won't sign the NDA.
  • RIM issues a press release saying that it would bid $1.1 billion for the LTE and CDMA assets.

Earlier this morning Nortel executives had told the committee that RIM hadn't been allowed in the auction process because it wouldn't sign "the standard" NDA. "The courts have decided there was no shut-out," declared Nortel's chief strategy officer. (See Nortel Could Sell LTE Patents Separately.)

"We had already signed two different NDAs as part of earlier discussions," Lazaridis said. From his perspective, the new NDA would shut RIM out from getting the LTE assets and IPR it actually wanted because under the terms of the agreement it couldn't get both, only the assets and a patent license.

"If we had signed that deal we would not have been able to purchase both at the same time," Lazaridis elucidated, saying that the terms of the auction reduced the value of the LTE IPR for "RIM and other companies."

RIM says the auction was structured this way because it was built on top of the original "stalking horse" bid from Nokia Networks . NSN, it emerged earlier this morning, wasn't interested in the LTE patents, only the workforce. Nortel has said that the auction process was supervised and determined to be fair by the bankruptcy court.

Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) eventually trumped NSN in the auction process. Lazaridis used his bully pulpit to call for talks on that auction and the IPR that Nortel holds. Nortel's LTE patent portfolio and development work is,"nothing short of a national treasure that Canada must not lose," he said.

"Before we rush to get rid of things that we believe are very important to Canada's future, all we are asking is that we all get together in a room -- RIM, Ericsson, Nortel, and the government -- and discuss it."

The Canadian parliament could further examine the deal under "net benefit to Canada" and "national security" clauses. Several committee members mentioned such possibilities during the proceedings, but no definite statements have been made yet.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Flash Poll
LRTV Custom TV
A New Security Paradigm in SDN/NFV

7|28|14   |   02:54   |   (0) comments


Paul Shaneck, Global Director Network Solutions for Symantec, discusses the evolving virtualized network, explaining how Symantec is leading the security discussion as it relates to SDN and NFV, and helping to ensure the network is protected and compliant.
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint's Network Evolution

7|24|14   |   14:59   |   (0) comments


Sprint's Jay Bluhm gives a keynote speech at the Big Telecom Event (BTE) about Sprint's network and services evolution strategy, including Spark.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE Keynote: The Software-Defined Operator

7|24|14   |   18:43   |   (1) comment


Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg explains the concept of the software-defined operator to the Big Telecom Event (BTE) crowd.
Light Reedy
Numbers Are In: LR's 2014 Salary Survey

7|24|14   |   1:25   |   (7) comments


Our fourth annual Salary Survey paints a picture of who's hiring, firing, earning, and yearning for a change in the telecom industry.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving the Network Transformation

7|23|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


Intel's Sandra Rivera discusses network transformation and how Intel technologies, programs, and standards body efforts have helped the industry migration to SDN and NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed NFV-Based Business Services by RAD

7|18|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


With the ETSI-approved Distributed NFV PoC running in the background, RAD's CEO, Dror Bin, talks about why D-NFV makes compelling sense for service providers, and about the dollars and cents RAD is putting behind D-NFV.
LRTV Custom TV
MRV Accelerating Packet Optical Convergence

7|15|14   |   6:06   |   (0) comments


Giving you network insight to make your network smarter.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV-Enabled Ethernet for Generating New Revenues

7|15|14   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Cyan's Planet Orchestrate allows service providers and their end-customers to activate software-based capabilities such as firewalls and encryption on top of existing Ethernet services in just minutes.
LRTV Custom TV
Symkloud NVF-Ready Video Transcoding, Big Data

7|9|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


Kontron and ISV partner Vantrix demonstrate high-performance video transcoding and data analytic solutions on same 2U standard platform that is ready for SDN and NFV deployments made by mobile, cable and cloud operators.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Evolving Role of Hybrid Video for Competitive Success

7|4|14   |   4:09   |   (0) comments


At Huawei's Global Analysts Summit in Shenzhen, China, Steven C. Hawley from TV Strategies speaks to us about the evolving role of hybrid video for competitive success.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
How CSPs Leverage Big Data in the Digital Economy

7|4|14   |   4:48   |   (2) comments


Justin van der Lande from Analysys Mason shares with us his views on how telecom operators can leverage customer asset monetization with big data. His discusses the current status of big data applications and the challenges and opportunities for telecom operators in the digital economy era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerator for Digital Business Future Oriented BSS

7|4|14   |   3:08   |   (0) comments


Mobile and internet are becoming intertwined; IT and CT are integrating; and leading CSPs have begun to transform to information service and entertainment providers. How should the BSS system evolve to enable this transformation? Karl Whitelock, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, shares his views.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
September 16, 2014, Santa Clara, CA
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Packet Design asks network professionals how they handle the cloud, SDN, and network management.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Cisco Puts a Fog Over IoT
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
U-verse Growth Slips But Still Strong
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2014
Is Windstream Boldly Setting a New Trend?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/29/2014
Salary Survey Report 2014
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/23/2014
Facebook: 30% of Users Are Mobile-Only
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed