Light Reading

Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz

Phil Harvey
News Analysis
Phil Harvey
2/24/2010
50%
50%

If you still work for what's left of Nortel, guess what? Charlie's in charge!

Genband Inc. says it has been cleared to acquire Nortel Networks Ltd. 's Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions (CVAS) business. This means no other bidders of substance showed up for the stalking horse process.

It also means that Genband, a media gateway vendor, is now solidly in the softswitching, IP voice gateway, and SIP application business, and will likely be adding 1,638 bodies to its current staff of about 450. The acquisition is subject to court and certain regulatory approvals in Canada, the United States, and other jurisdictions, as well as other closing conditions. Genband's announcement made no mention of staff size.

Back in December, Genband offered $282 million for the Nortel assets. That bid came thanks to Genband's majority shareholder, One Equity Partners , chipping in to help the vendor vouch for the more than $400 million in total cost of ownership required for working capital, infrastructure cost, transitional services cost, taxes, and so on, to pull off the deal. (See Genband Bids $282M for Nortel's VoIP Unit.)

But Nortel's announcement this morning says the purchase price was indeed $282 million, "subject to balance sheet and other adjustments currently estimated at approximately $100 million for a net purchase price of approximately $182 million." So Genband got an even better deal than it first appeared.

With this addition and its media gateways, security gateways, and session border controller capability, Genband's competition now includes Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT), AudioCodes Ltd. (Nasdaq: AUDC), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Metaswitch Networks , Starent Networks Corp. (Nasdaq: STAR), and Sonus Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SONS).

Genband's partners include Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Nokia Networks , NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), to name a few. It will need to work with those partners that also sell VoIP equipment to make sure it doesn't step on any toes.

Now that the deal is going through, Genband, a company that did five acquisitions in two years, embarks on its greatest challenge yet.

Charlie Vogt, Genband's CEO, summed it up this way in an interview with Light Reading in December: "How do you effectively transition TDM networks to IP and do it in a way that allows carriers to manage their back-office systems and also be able to incorporate a variety of next-generation players that are in the network today?"

So Genband, once staunchly against being a softswitch vendor itself, now sees value in blending Nortel's big carrier VoIP and softswitch installed base with its IP gateway portfolio. The pitch to service providers, no doubt, will be that they can now migrate to VoIP technologies and IP services without having to chuck their old Nortel gear.

"It’s a huge challenge for Genband," says Jim Hodges, senior analyst at Heavy Reading. "They are back into the core switching and applications space... They will have to develop roadmaps very quickly to satisfy customers they will keep the portfolio viable."

Hodges notes that if Genband pulls off the integration, it will remain a threat to all VoIP vendors, including Nokia Siemens, Ericsson, and Alcatel-Lucent, as well as Metaswitch in the Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets and Sonus in key accounts such as AT&T.

It's worth nothing that, even though there were apparently no competitive bidders in the stalking horse process, not everyone wanted Genband to be the victor. Avian Securities LLC analyst Catharine Trebnick, in a Feb. 22 note to clients, wrote that her sources said Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) was more supportive of Sonus making a bid for Nortel's CVAS business. But Sonus didn't want to take on the M&A challenge: "The company has commented that they are interested in growing the business organically and not in consolidation plays from an M&A perspective," Trebnick wrote.

Light Reading reported that companies expected to jump into the bidding for Nortel's CVAS included Nokia Siemens, Sonus, and NEC. Of that group, only Sonus doesn't currently have a working relationship with Genband.

For a look back at our Genband-Nortel CVAS coverage to date, please see:



— Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

(21)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:42:13 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz
Yes, good one.
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:42:13 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz


Cedar Point Communications is another VoIP competitor, though most of its hay has been made in cable.  JB

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:42:13 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz
forgot to list them as a competitor, too. can anyone think of any others i left out?
acohn
50%
50%
acohn,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:42:12 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz


Genband better figure out quick how to avoid being replaced at all the large operators.  I can say that there is very little trust of GenBand in the marketplace due to their screwed up strategies since Vogt took over.  They have acquired and discontinued many products giving the marketplace very little faith. CVAS I believe is larger than GenBand's current organization so they may be unequipped to handle it.  If they think they can lay off more people (out of CVAS) and continue to wring support contracts out of the existing customers while delivering nothing, they will be mistaken.  There are tons of used parts on the market, and the large customers know the switch better than many of the support employees left.  Regarding Softswitching, Meta is going to be the key competitor for the small class 5 offices and Sonus on class 4. 


Broadsoft is a likely winner out of all this for class 5 services since many large carriers are already heading in that direction while capping their legacy switches from Lucent, Nortel, NSN.  More and more large carriers seem to be going with Broadsoft for Class 5, especially for business customers, and going without a traditional "switch" at all.


Genband "winning" does not give the legacy customers a "warm and fuzzy" feeling.  Instead they are skeptical at BEST, and likely to continue moving in other directions if they don't hear some good news very, very soon!

DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:42:12 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz
Good post. We'll be watching Broadsoft closely, too, to see how they get on.
DCITDave
50%
50%
DCITDave,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:42:11 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz
Another competitor. They were winning some Nortel business from smaller carriers.
whydoyoucare
50%
50%
whydoyoucare,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:42:09 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz
"there is very little trust of GenBand in the marketplace due to their screwed up strategies" You mean like his plans to fire all of the American and Canadian workers to replace them with cheap Chinese workers??? It's a favorite pasttime over there and the effects are quite obvious. Look at their decline in quality since this started. Good luck to all of you Nortel customers! You too will have cheap Made-in-China products!!! Unfortunately, they'll charge you Made in the USA prices.

You now get to buy products from two Chinese companies: Huawei or Genband/Nortel

Until the Board of Directors ties Vogt's stock options to long term success, you can bet on more short-sell mentality from him. Final Answer: Customers, You lose.

My condolences to the Nortel (soon-to-be-ex-) employees.
FatherTime
50%
50%
FatherTime,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:42:07 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz
Service providers have been unhappy with GB support and quality for months creating opportunity to pull out the G6 and G9s. This merger will put them in the tank for at least a year - maybe permanently.
mu-law
50%
50%
mu-law,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:42:07 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz
To hell with the facts of this situation, I guess... the publicly released information relating to their bid says they committed to keeping 1600+ of today's CVAS employees
acohn
50%
50%
acohn,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 4:42:06 PM
re: Genband Wins Nortel's Carrier VoIP Biz


Its very likely that many of these trash-talk posts directed at genband are from disgrunted ex-employees who got the axe in one of genband's many rounds of layoffs over the past several years.


Although they have a legitimate beef, especially when it comes to replacing quality American workers with substandard offshored ones, it really doesn't contribute to the discussion to grinde your personal axe. 


If service providers really are to the point where they are threatening to pull out their genband products, then they wouldn't have any beef with naming themselves here and saying what products they're considering as replacement. Same goes for the accusations that providers are wary.


- the other acohn (LOL)

Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (5) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (0) comments


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
LRTV Custom TV
Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
Between the CEOs
Debating Network Evolution With Cisco's Cedrik Neike

6|23|15   |   12:54   |   (2) comments


Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
LRTV Documentaries
Vodafone: What's Good for Moms Is Good for Business

6|23|15   |   3:04   |   (3) comments


Megan Doberneck, the general counsel for Vodafone Americas, discusses her company's progressive maternity policy, explains why promoting women in tech is good business and offers some some good advice for any women in the industry.
LRTV Interviews
NFV: Ready for Prime Time

6|23|15   |   05:09   |   (1) comment


At BTE 2015, Vip mobile CTO Dejan Kastelic talks about how NFV is ready for the real world and how Telekom Austria is introducing centralized resources for its group operations.
LRTV Documentaries
Tykes Talk Tech

6|22|15   |   02:30   |   (9) comments


What does optical fiber look like? When will 5G arrive? What's the WiFi password at Ikea? Light Reading sat down with three 8-year-olds to answer some of the communications industry's most burning questions...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners With TDC for World's First Early DOCSIS 3.1 Field Test

6|22|15   |   3:06   |   (0) comments


In a move to enhance user experience, Denmark's TDC aims to become an early adopter of DOCSIS 3.1. In partnership with Huawei, TDC recently ran the world's first field tests on its coax network that reached speeds nearing 1 Gbit/s.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's in Your Office-in-a-Bag?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/26/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones