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Ethernet equipment

Juniper, NSN Launch Joint Venture

The name Carrier Ethernet Solutions BV might not strike fear in the hearts of men, but if it can sell some Carrier Ethernet gear, Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Nokia Networks will be happy.

The companies' joint venture, announced in June, got regulatory approval today, prompting Juniper and NSN to disclose some details -- such as that rather, uh, literal name. (See NSN, Juniper Plan Ethernet Marriage and Juniper/NSN Joint Venture Approved.)

Juniper is in charge of the joint venture, as it owns a 60 percent share compared with NSN's 40 percent. Juniper is also supplying the CEO: John Stewart (insert your Jon Stewart joke of choice here). Stewart was the vice president of Juniper's mobility and circuit emulation business unit.

Chairing the joint venture's supervisory board is Manoj Leelanivas, who is senior vice president of Juniper's edge and aggregation business unit.

Nokia Siemens gets a pair of executive spots alongside Juniper, of course. The joint venture's chief financial officer, Ton van den Boom, is a senior manager from NSN's finance department. And the vice chairman of the advisory board is Bernd Schumacher, NSN's head of Broadband Connectivity Solutions.

Juniper's leading role could be significant, because the joint venture arrives at a time when packet-optical gear is a hot topic -- and Juniper lacks the "optical" side of that equation. That's led at least one analyst to wonder if NSN will end up playing a more important role in its partnerships with Juniper, despite Juniper's 60 percent stake in Carrier Ethernet Solutions. (See Is Juniper Junior-Grade? and NSN, Juniper Converge IP & Optical.)

The stated purpose of the joint venture is to help the two companies storm the exploding carrier Ethernet switch/router (CESR) and Ethernet service edge (ESE) markets. The plan is to use Juniper's MX line of metro Ethernet routers and NSN's A-series of switches, which came with the early 2008 acquisition of Atrica. (See Nokia Siemens to Acquire Atrica.)

By the first quarter of 2010, the joint venture expects to launch an offering that's going to be seamless and end-to-end and all that.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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