Nokia's Alcatel-Lucent buy means fewer options for wireless biz

In a major consolidation move by top wireless vendors, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has agreed to buy Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) for $16.6 billion (€15.6 billion).

The deal, if approved, would form a powerhouse to rival Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and Huawei in the global market for telecom equipment. In the United States, the deal could create a company that could challenge Ericsson's leading position.

For U.S. carriers, the merger will mean one less vendor to work with. Ericsson has long dominated the U.S. market, and it works with all four Tier 1 U.S. carriers. Meanwhile, China's Huawei and ZTE are effectively barred from signing deals with big U.S. carriers over national-security concerns. This situation could push more business to a combined Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent, or it could provide more opportunities for smaller rivals, such as Samsung.

FierceWireless examines this megamerger and the implications for the broader wireless business here.

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