Nokia buys-out Siemens: is Network Functions Virtualization driving an equipment vendor market metamorphosis?

Today, Nokia announced it was buying-out its telecom equipment manufacturer (TEM) partner Siemens AG for about US$2.2b, reported as a good deal for Nokia and part of a Siemens refocusing on higher growth industrial markets. Unlike Nokia and its handsets, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) has been profitable since downsizing last year, but the joint venture didn’t get any takers when shopped to private equity firms (who likely tried to first shop it to the likes of Cisco, HP and/or Oracle). NSN was formed in 2007 and has about 60,000 employees focused on keeping people connected in over 150 countries world-wide. Last year, NSN sold it optical fiber business to Marlin Equity Partners and fixed broadband access assets to Adtran. Siemens Enterprise Communications still holds a big stake in Enterasys, an enterprise networking player formed from Cabletron.

Primarily a mobile broadband player, NSN is a leader in 4G/LTE mobile radio, following Ericsson and followed by Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent (who announced their ‘Shift Plan’ two weeks ago) in average share. Huawei’s critical network infrastructure equipment traction has been slipping in some developed nations due to unresolved security concerns, giving NSN and others an opportunity to maintain current radio equipment margins. And the tide continues to come in for 4G/LTE global network build-outs, raising all ships. But more cost-effective network scaling is needed to support more bandwidth without more revenue from end-users, and virtualizing/automating what can be appears to be the key for network operators.

Topics: Cisco IT Infrastructure Networking HP mobile Oracle Huawei Adtran Ericsson Alcatel-Lucent

Next-generation wLANs will drive productivity gains

As our vendor clients already know, I’ve been busy surveying over 20 enterprise wireless LAN providers to learn more about their wLAN offerings and support plans for 802.11ac, BYOD, UC, etc. for ESG’s upcoming wLAN Market Landscape Report. I’m happy to report that from the supply-side, there are plenty of innovative enterprise wireless systems to choose from and a very competitive marketplace. And we will be fielding our enterprise wireless networking survey shortly, so we’ll be able to better match enterprise wireless needs to vendor offerings.

However, I do have concerns about the demand-side, where many enterprise CFOs are still concerned about continued economic uncertainty, and are holding the line on IT budgets. Recently, change in information and communications technologies (ICT) seems to be accelerating toward light-speed, but many CFOs just want to spend to keep the lights on in the IT department. Organizations that don’t invest in new IT technologies will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage - period.

Topics: Cisco IT Infrastructure Networking Juniper HP BYOD Aruba Huawei Aerohive Adtran Alcatel-Lucent NEC Brocade Enterasys Extreme Ruckus