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NSN Lays LTE Groundwork

Ray Le Maistre
1/28/2010

1:20 PM -- Nokia Networks (NSN) is doing all it can to maximize its potential in the emerging Long Term Evolution (LTE) market by building on its extensive 3G network infrastructure customer base.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo noted during today's fourth-quarter earnings conference call, which includes details of NSN's financials, that the equipment vendor now has 170 3G infrastructure customers, more than any other vendor, having added 10 new engagements during the final three months of 2009. (See Nokia Siemens Shrinks 18% in 2009 .)

He added that NSN has now shipped LTE-capable hardware to "almost all of its 3G customers," and claimed that the joint venture company currently has the highest number of LTE "references" (trials, pilots, deals) in the industry, including recently awarded deals at Telia Company and Telenor Group (Nasdaq: TELN)'s Danish operations. (See NSN Replaces Huawei in Euro LTE Rollout, M1 Trials LTE With NSN, NSN Wins China 3G Deal, Telenor Denmark Picks NSN, Telefónica Kicks Off LTE Trials, Zain Bahrain Picks NSN for LTE, and Hutch 3G Austria Deploys HSPA+.)

NSN is also working with a number of partners to show off its capabilities in the radio access network (RAN) and evolved packet core (EPC). (See NSN, LG Tout LTE Speed, NSN Standardizes LTE Voice, LTE Core Action Heats Up, and NSN Makes LTE Handover.)

With the company's new CEO focused on regaining market share, and having already edged out fierce rival Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. for the TeliaSonera deal, 2010 looks like the year when NSN might look to break away from the pack of six or so LTE infrastructure vendors and build some convincing leadership credentials. (See APAC Operators Commit to LTE, Vendors Vie for LTE Limelight, and Spradley: Nokia Siemens Will Be an LTE Leader.)

But, of course, NSN isn't going to have everything go its way, no matter how hard it tries. (See Huawei Ousts NSN in Belgium.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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