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Cable Fallout from Nokia Siemens Deal

Michael Harris
Michael Harris

As you'd expect, Light Reading covered the ins and outs of the Nokia Siemens deal unveiled this month. See Nokia, Siemens Create Networks Giant, There's a New Bully on the Block and Post Nokia Siemens, Whither Nortel, Others? for all the details. In a nutshell, the two European telecom giants are merging their service provider infrastructure businesses to create a 50/50 joint venture called Nokia Siemens Networks. The new JV will be the third largest telecom equipment vendor in the world, with over Euro 15 billion in annual revenue, trailing only Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson-Marconi. Although the deal does not include Nokia's market-leading mobile handset business, the move is primarily aimed at shoring up the companies' mobile market position with carriers. So, what are the implications for cable? Siemens has made its mark in the North American cable market by landing Cablevision Systems and Shaw Communications as customers for its PacketCable softswitch platform. Now, with MSOs moving into mobile, could the addition of Nokia make Siemens a more attractive supplier? Perhaps, for Siemens' existing cable customers. But, virtually every other major U.S. MSO is entering mobile through a partnership with Sprint Nextel, which is more closely aligned with Cisco Systems, Lucent and Nortel. Mobile industry watchers agree that one vendor will be squeezed by the Nokia Siemens JV: Motorola. Will Moto counterpunch with its own mega deal? In the broader networking arena, rumors of a combination with Juniper Networks continue to bubble. On the cable side, will Moto finally bite the bullet and acquire a PacketCable softswitch solution? The only available option there is start-up Cedar Point Communications, which counts Comcast and Charter as customers. Both MSOs are also key Motorola accounts.

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