Despite ABI Research predictions that Long-Term Evolution-based wireless data traffic will more than triple this year, carriers will be wary of increasing their capital spending, according to telecom gear maker Nokia Siemens Networks. NSN predicted a flat mobile broadband market for this year and projected profit margin in the 5%-to-10% range after deciding to focus on the wireless industry in 2011.
C Spire Wireless will continue to roll out its 4G service with a planned launch in Philadelphia, Miss., the 33rd market the carrier has targeted for Long-Term Evolution service since September. The latest addition will bring C Spire's potential LTE base to 1.2 million people over 364 cell sites. Also, Nokia Siemens Networks said it equipped U.S. Cellular's latest launch of LTE service in 11 markets providing the radio access network and mobile management entity gear.
As more bidders expressed interest in Nortel Networks' Carrier Network unit, Nokia Siemens Networks said it would beef up its $650 million bid if necessary to win the asset. Nortel's former chief strategy officer is advising MatlinPatterson, a group of Nortel creditors that wants to buy the entire company, and two separate groups of Nortel alumni are also trying to mount an eleventh-hour bid for the equipment maker.
Nortel Networks has abandoned plans to reorganize out of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy hole and will instead sell its assets, starting with a $650 million deal with Nokia Siemens Networks for the gear maker's advanced-wireless-technology unit, the most lucrative part of Nortel's carrier-network division. Nortel disclosed the deal Friday, adding that it would also seek to delist its shares from the Toronto Stock Exchange. Industry observers said that NSN firmed up its North American operations with the purchase and gained valuable engineering expertise for Long-Term Evolution products.
Nokia Siemens Networks introduced Thursday its new Flexi-operated unified radio base station that promises carriers it can handle all of the 2G, 3G and 4G needs. While the device lacks the software to operate Long Term Evolution-based 4G service, NSN said it could handle GSM/EDGE and HSPA networks today and be reconfigured to support LTE down the road.