BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress 2011 -- Look out! There's yet more turbulence ahead for wireless infrastructure, according to the CEO of Nokia Siemens Networks.
During a feisty presentation on the eve of the massive mobile conference in an unseasonably chilly Barcelona, Spain, NSN CEO Rajeev Suri predicted that there will be yet more shrinkage in the infrastructure market.
"There's space for three long-term, profitable survivors ... over the next few years," Suri said.
He didn't specifically name the companies he expected to thrive or wither on the vine. Nor did he give any expectations on the timing of the further shakeout -- or shakeouts -- in the already bloodied RAN clan.
That didn't mean that Suri didn't put the boot in to these unnamed competitors:
"If your gross margin is lower than NSN's operating margin or you continue to burn cash you may not be one of the major players," he told the crowd. "You might survive but you won't be profitable."
The CEO, meanwhile, defended NSN's own painful restructuring. "2012 was the best year in the history of NSN," he said.
He also clarified the company's position on R&D spending. He said that there has been a 50 percent increase in that area since 2011, and that this trend will continue. NSN, however, is not going to try and cover all areas but instead spend on growth sectors like LTE and small cells.
"Forty-five percent of the world's LTE subscribers are in networks where we are one of the providers," Suri said.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile