NSN CEO Talks Up US Push in 2011

CHICAGO -- Nokia Networks CEO Rajeev Suri made a stop in Chicago last week to explain to local business people how the vendor will become a US powerhouse following the acquisition of Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)'s mobile networks business. (See EC Clears NSN/Moto Deal and NSN to Buy Moto's Wireless Biz for $1.2B .)

Once the takeover of the Motorola business is complete, Suri believes NSN will be one of the top three network infrastructure suppliers in the US, employing 4,200 staff countrywide (including 1,600 in the Chicago area). (See NSN Expands in North America With Moto Buyout.)

NSN: You're hired

And in the longer term, Suri (perhaps not surprisingly) sees NSN as one of the few companies that can survive the current communications technology sector upheaval. The CEO reiterated his belief that the telecom technology sector will consolidate to three major players: NSN, naturally; one company from China, so Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. or ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763); and one from Sweden, which was his way of saying Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC).

This particular outlook, of course, leaves no room for Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).

Suri also used his speech to touch on a few other wireless issues; namely to speak out against software SIM (soft-SIM) cards, and in favor of the deployment of deep packet inspection (DPI) tools to help manage networks effectively and ensure end-users get the best possible experience. "With traffic increasing massively on networks everywhere, these kinds of tools are really no longer optional," he said. (See Apple's 'Soft-SIM': Not Too Useful in US, Next-Gen Security for Mobile Infrastructure, and DPI Goes Mobile.)

He also noted that NSN supports a global customer base of 600 companies, 75 of which are top telecom operators, and that if all the networks it currently manages (under outsourcing deals) were combined, NSN would be the third-largest telecom operator in the world.

The CEO stressed, though, that NSN is not aiming to offer its own wireless services.

Why this matters
While NSN is one of a handful of truly global telecom technology and services suppliers, the US has conspicuously been the market where it has struggled to build a business that matches its potential. And while the Motorola acquisition will undoubtedly make NSN a stronger, more significant player in the US, the vendor will also have to deal with post-acquisition integration issues, and the impact of broader ownership matters, as it attempts to capitalize on its new Moto muscle. (See Might NSN Choke on Its Moto Morsel? and Rumor: NSN Stake Sale Near.)

To find out more about Suri's views, check out the following video, shot from Light Reading Mobile's front-table seat, which shows the CEO answering audience questions on WiMax, content providers, small cells, and NSN's plans for 2011.

For more
For more on NSN's customer wins, business revamps, and plans for Motorola, check out the following stories:

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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