HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nortel Networks has agreed to sell its key mobile network equipment assets to Nokia Siemens Networks for $650 million, the companies said on Friday.
Following are comparative first-quarter numbers from the world’s three biggest mobile telecom equipment vendors, followed by a summary of the top global players in the sector:
Revenue (in millions of euros)
Q1 ‘09 Q4 ‘08 Q1 ‘08 Q1 YOY pct chng
Ericsson 4,691 6,343 4,180 +12
Alcatel-Lucent 3,598 4,954 3,864 -7
Nokia Siemens 2,990 4,338 3,401 -12
Underlying operating profit margins (in percentage points)
Ericsson 9.5 14.6 7.6
Alcatel-Lucent -7.1 6.0 0.9
Nokia Siemens Networks -4.1 5.2 2.4
Key players in the industry:
The Swedish company had a 33-percent market share in January-March quarter, down from recent years but still well ahead of rivals who have focussed on integrating their businesses.
Through the 2005 acquisition of fixed-line communications maker Marconi, Ericsson further blurred the lines between the fixed and mobile sectors. Telecom carriers are cutting costs by offering the same services to fixed-line and mobile users.
Ericsson’s first-quarter core profit fell more than expected due to weak margins in its key network business but the world’s top mobile equipment maker said the global downturn had not hit the mobile network market that much yet.
The 50-50 venture of Nokia and Siemens started operations in April 2007 and has 21 percent of the market, but is focussing on improving profits and cash flow while fending off Ericsson and China’s Huawei.
In April the venture said it sees the market falling some 10 percent in euro terms in 2009. It had earlier forecast at least a 5 percent decline.
To boost its market share and get the business back into the black, Nokia Siemens is buying key assets from smaller rival Nortel, which saw market share shrinking over the last few quarters and filed for bankruptcy protection in January.
Nokia Siemens is buying Nortel’s stronghold in CDMA technology, which has been popular in the Americas but is fading as the two largest operators there have cut investments, looking to newer, high-speed LTE technology. Nokia Siemens also buys Nortel’s LTE assets.
China’s top telecoms gearmaker market share passed Alcatel-Lucent as market No 3 in the first quarter. Its market share roughly doubled from a year ago to 15 percent supported by aggressive pricing and state financial backing.
China’s commerce minister said in March both Huawei and cross-town rival ZTE will see 2009 sales expand 30 percent. But the company is secretive and its ties to the state are one of the reasons the U.S. government nixed its plans to buy 3Com Corp with Bain Capital last year.
The Franco-American group created in December 2006 had a 14 percent market share at start of the year. Its history has been dogged by weakening demand, merger-related costs, political infighting and uncertainty over product integration.
The loss-making group replaced its chief executive and chairman last year and new CEO Ben Verwaayen expects to report a net profit during 2010. The firm expects the market to fall 8-12 percent in 2009.
Sources: Market share data from dell’Oro.