Ovum comments: Nokia Siemens Networks sells optical networking business
Written by Ovum   
Monday, 03 December 2012
Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is selling its optical networking business unit to private investment firm Marlin Equity Partners. Dana Cooperson, leader of Ovumís Network Infrastructure Telecoms practice provides the following view:

ďWhen Nokia Siemens Networks announced its updated strategy about a year ago it said it was focusing its business on mobile broadband but needed to keep its optical group as a complement. This struck Ovum as odd: its strongest position in optical (itís ranked 10th globally in the $14.9B market with just under $500M annual sales) is in the network core, where there is little connection with MBB. Furthermore, NSNís optical business has been slipping for years with no clear plan to improve; it has not done the kind of fundamental R&D that its main competitors (e.g., Alcatel-Lucent, Ciena, Cisco Systems, Huawei Technologies) are doing.

ďThe details of the transaction were not released, so it is difficult to gauge Marlinís commitment to turning the optical business around. Competition in the market is keen; margins are under constant pressure. Competitors will take advantage of this ownership change and related confusion to gain any advantage in NSNís accounts. Marlinís goal may be to sell the optical business to another vendor, for example Juniper Networks.

ďOvumís 2020 research points to market evolution to a structure comprising two kinds of vendors: Full-service vendors that provide a wide range of products and services to customer partners; and specialist vendors. Three years ago Nokia Siemens Networks looked like one of the 5-7 possible full-service contenders, but it since became obvious that specialism was their strongest course; as few as 3 vendors will make the leap to full-service.Ē

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