BSS (inc. billing, revenue assurance)

Is NSN Close to BSS Sale?

5:45 AM -- Nokia Networks is in "advanced talks" to sell its business support systems (BSS) assets as part of the restructuring program it announced in November 2011, according to a Bloomberg report.

The vendor's BSS business was identified as being non-core when NSN announced its revamp last year and now, it seems, a sale could be imminent, with Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and private equity firms reportedly having shown interest. The report suggests the BSS unit might fetch as much as €300 million (US$377 million).

There has been plenty of interest in the Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) assets, with various companies expressing an interest on the show floor at this year's Mobile World Congress event, as we reported in March. (See M&A Interest in NSN's BSS Assets Builds.)

But would NSN sell this business to archrival Ericsson, which has been building up its SPIT capabilities during the past year or so? That's hard to imagine, though if the Swedish vendor ends up being the only bidder with a decent offer on the table then NSN would have little choice -- it needs to cut costs. (See Restructuring Costs Hit NSN's Q2 and Ericsson + Telcordia: What the Analysts Say.)

NSN's preference would likely be a major SPIT player, such as Amdocs, with which it could strike a sales and marketing partnership.

NSN, naturally, isn't commenting on the speculation and says it won't discuss "the future of specific business areas."

For more on NSN's restructuring and future options, see:

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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