Last days of Marconi

Marconi, a name perhaps as old as radio technology and vanguard of telecommunications business is finally going to RIP, after nearly 108 years as a standalone company. Earlier, there were rumors that the company was going to be bought by Huawei, but nothing came of that. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is about to be acquired by Ericsson for $2.1 billion. Marconi name, however will live on as a network services company, that is going to be carved out.

In essence, what Ericsson is buying is the old Fore Systems business, and some optical expertise. It also indicates the new telecom reality – the convergence of wireless and wireline is happening faster than most of us realize. I wonder what are the implications of this on Juniper, one of the partners for Ericsson. Will Huawei, Marconi’s Chinese partner suddenly find new friends in Sweden?

The clock has been ticking for Marconi ever since it lost out in the British Telecom’s 21 CN. It is quite a sad end to a hall-of-fame company, which reminds me a lot of Roger Clemens’ third inning exit in the opening game of World Series 2005. (Oh what I will do to see the Rocket blast-off one more time!) It was ironic that Marconi lost to its Chinese partner, Huawei. It is also indicative of a new world order where hallowed names of the past like Marconi are being replaced with those with a more au currant ones with an oriental twist.