Light Reading
Unstrung tracks the top M&A deals of 2009 that reshaped the wireless industry

Top 10: Mobile M&A Mania

Michelle Donegan
LR Mobile News Analysis
Michelle Donegan
12/21/2009
50%
50%

The wireless equipment supplier and service provider landscape will look a lot different in 2010 after all the wheeling and dealing that went on in 2009.

While M&A action in the first half of the year was sluggish, telecom companies loosened their purse strings in the second half of the year to get into new products and markets, bolster market share, and thwart their competitors from doing the same. (See Telecom M&A Deals Hit $88.3B in H1 and European Carriers Catch M&A Fever.)

The fate of Nortel Networks Ltd. 's wireless assets was one of the most-watched developments of the year, but not all of the big transactions this year involved picking up pieces from the bankrupt Canadian vendor. (See Nortel: What's Left on the Shelf?)

We've highlighted the most significant deals of the year here, starting at the beginning of 2009:

  • March 3 -- Harris Stratex Snaps Up Telsima for $12M. The microwave backhaul specialist kicked off the wireless equipment M&A action this year when it snapped up Telsima Corp. in a $12 million bargain. The deal gave Harris Stratex Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: HSTX) its own WiMax product portfolio and entry into some emerging markets. (See Backhaul Player Guns for WiMax.)

  • July 25 -- Nortel Wireless Winner: It's Ericsson! The Swedish giant dramatically acquired Nortel's CDMA and LTE assets for $1.13 billion, snatching the prized North American business from Nokia Networks 's grasp by outbidding the Finnish-German company in the asset auction. The result: Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) has cemented its position in North America, and Nokia Siemens is still smarting from the blow. (See Ericsson Delivers Knockout Blow to NSN, Ericsson: Why We Want Nortel's Wireless, Interview: Ericsson's CDMA Chief, Spradley: Nokia Siemens Will Be an LTE Leader, and NSN CEO: Don't Write Our Obituary.)

  • September 8 -- T-Mobile, Orange Join Forces in UK. Across the pond in the U.K., the long, drawn-out speculation finally ended over the fate of T-Mobile (UK) 's troubled operations when Orange UK and T-Mobile said they would create a joint venture company in the country. In one fell swoop, Orange and T-Mobile -- the third and fourth-placed mobile laggards by market share -- will become the largest U.K. mobile operator by subscribers with 28.4 million mobile customers when the deal is done.

  • September 11 -- DoCoMo to Buy Content Delivery Specialist. Japan's No. 1 mobile operator made a push into international content delivery with the acquisition of German value-added services specialist Net Mobile AG for $60.8 million.

  • October 13 -- Cisco to Buy Starent for $2.9B. Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)'s eye-watering $2.9 billion offer for mobile core specialist Starent Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: STAR) left no doubt of the IP vendor's intentions to be at the heart of next-generation mobile broadband networks. The acquisition will certainly make Starent's mobile packet core rivals -- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and Nokia Siemens -- sit up and take note. (See LTE Core Action Heats Up.)

  • October 22 -- Core Blimey! Tellabs Buys WiChorus. Just days after Cisco's big offer for Starent, Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) sought to beef up its mobile packet core capability with the acquisition of WiChorus Inc. for $180 million. The move pounded home the point about the strategic importance of the mobile packet core.

  • October 26 -- Hitachi Takes Nortel's LTE Packet Core. For a mere $10 million, Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA) snapped up the Nortel's LTE packet core assets, which the two companies had been working on together for KDDI Corp. in Japan.

  • November 9 -- Google Buys AdMob for $750M. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) stretched its mobile-advertising tentacles further with the acquisition of AdMob Inc. The move will complement the search giant's mobile search advertising with AdMob's Web and application display advertising capabilities for mobiles.

  • November 20 -- Moto Snaps Up RadioFrame Assets. Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) added RadioFrame Networks Inc. 's iDEN base station business to its Home & Networks Mobility unit for an undisclosed sum. The news sparked questions about the status of RadioFrame's femtocell chip business. (See RadioFrame's Mystery Femto Buyer and Broadcom's Still Mum on Femtocells.)

  • November 25 -- Ericsson Buys Nortel's GSM Biz Too. Ericsson tidied up its North American wireless position with the acquisition of Nortel's GSM business for $70 million.

    — Michelle Donegan, European 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
    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
    Facebook: 30% of Users Are Mobile-Only
    Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 7/24/2014
    Is Windstream Boldly Setting a New Trend?
    Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/29/2014
    Nokia Holds Steady in Q2, Raises Outlook
    Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/24/2014
    U-verse Growth Slips But Still Strong
    Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 7/24/2014
    Verizon Applies 3G Throttling Policy to LTE
    Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 7/25/2014
    Like Us on Facebook
    Twitter Feed