Light Reading

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
From The Founder
Networks of the future will rely on "white box" switches and servers rather than proprietary hardware and that's going to alter the shape of the communications industry. Who says so? John Chambers.
LRTV Custom TV
The Benefits of HyperScale Clouds for NFV

3|27|15   |   01:50   |   (0) comments


Hyperscale cloud has been developed by the Internet giants to support the creation and delivery of software-based services at blistering speeds, and at the lowest possible cost. The original ETSI NFV vision was to adopt hyperscale cloud architecture and practices. This vision has become somewhat obscured along the way, due to misunderstandings about the hyperscale ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
eLTE Rapid Meets the Need for Speed

3|26|15   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


Designed especially for emergency and dedicated ad hoc local mobile communications coverage, Huawei's eLTE Rapid solution can deliver trunked voice, video and data coverage for multiple users over a 6km range and be set up in just 15 minutes, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
On Videos: Challenges & Opportunities

3|26|15   |   5:56   |   (0) comments


Most everything is now connected. And along with 4K and 4G technologies, everyone could be creating and broadcasting video contents. Users are expecting better video experience with any screen, anywhere and anytime. Operators will meet new challenges, but also see some big opportunities.
LRTV Custom TV
JDSU: Delivering Dynamic Networks for a Personalized Experience

3|26|15   |   5:59   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks to JDSU at Mobile World Congress 2015 about new solutions in the areas of HetNets, VoLTE, backhaul, virtualization, big data analytics, and real-time intelligence.
LRTV Custom TV
Smarter Service Chaining & New Ways to Benefit From Qosmos Technology

3|25|15   |   03:11   |   (0) comments


David Le Goff, director of strategic and product marketing at Qosmos, explains how the company has added application awareness to subscriber information to make service chaining more efficient and reduce costs for networking and infrastructure. In addition, Qosmos technology, which has been delivered as C libraries, is now also available as a virtual machine, ...
Between the CEOs
Qosmos CEO: The Changing Face of DPI

3|24|15   |   13:53   |   (0) comments


LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures. Also, how the comms market is becoming more like the automotive industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
FC Schalke Scores With Its Agile Stadium

3|24|15   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Top German soccer club FC Schalke 04 has deployed a new, agile WiFi network from Huawei in its Veltins-Arena stadium and is reaping the benefits in terms of customer satisfaction and business opportunities, explains marketing chief Alexander Jobst.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Insights on Mobile Video

3|24|15   |   7:51   |   (0) comments


More people than ever are now watching videos on smartphones. Seventy percent of mobile traffic will be video traffic until 2018. In this video, Huawei's exports give their insights on mobile video in terms of business model, network planning and 4G network construction.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Industry 4.0

3|24|15   |   02:26   |   (9) comments


Are you ready for the fourth industrial revolution? It's a big deal for influential operators such as Deutsche Telekom.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Getting Connected With eLTE

3|23|15   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Trunked radio communications have entered the 4G LTE world, and with Huawei's eLTE solution, can now deliver a full range of data and video services as well as push-to-talk voice, explains Huawei's Norman Frisch.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Funkwerk’s on Track With Huawei

3|19|15   |   3:23   |   (0) comments


GSM-R technology specialist Funkwerk and Huawei have forged a partnership that is benefiting both parties, notes Funkwerk's Gottfried Winter.
LRTV Documentaries
How EANTC Tested Cisco's Virtualization Solutions

3|18|15   |   5:49   |   (0) comments


Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of independent test lab EANTC, tells Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the innovative approach his team had to take when validating Cisco's service provider virtualization and cloud solutions.
Upcoming Live Events
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
AT&T Woos SMBs With Small-Scale WiFi
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/26/2015
Just Don't Say IBM Is 'Relaunching' Networking Business
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/26/2015
The Rise of Industry 4.0
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 3/24/2015
Google Hires Wall Street's Most Influential Woman as CFO
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/24/2015
Average US Broadband Speeds No Great Shakes
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 3/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Cats with Phones
Interspecies Phone Love Click Here
"No, you hang up."
"No, YOU hang up."
Latest Comment