It's difficult to initially say how Nokia Siemens' (NYSE: NOK) $1.2 billion bid to buy out the substantial portion of Motorola's (NYSE: MOT) wireless network infrastructure business will impact the cable industry. It's not difficult to suggest that it will, at least on some level.
The Moto wireless network business, which employs about 7,500 people worldwide, has been pushing fourth generation mobile services--including WiMAX, in which the cable industry is deeply involved--seemingly throughout the decade. In fact, the Nokia Siemens-Moto news release boasts that Motorola "is a market leader in WiMAX with 41 contracts in 21 countries." The question is whether this news means Nokia Siemens will take yet another shot at the cable industry, coming in through the network back door on the way to the devices front door, or if this is just a piece of a larger mobile wireless play.
The surface news is that Nokia Siemens has now strengthened its wireless position in the U.S. with such Motorola customers as Sprint Sprint (NYSE: S) , Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (LSE: VOD.L) (and aren't the last two the same--at least in the U.S.?) Motorola, for its part, retains its iDEN business and "substantially all the patents related to its wireless network infrastructure business and other selected assets." The deeper news is if any of this impacts cable more than indirectly.
As to why Motorola went in this direction, a a comment included in the official news release from Richard Lynch, Verizon's EVP-CTO offers a pretty blunt hint. "Verizon views today's announcement as good news for the global wireless industry."
- see this news release
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