Nokia Siemens Networks Buys Atrica

[qi:069] Ethernet’s growing importance as part of the carrier networks, especially in newer telecom economies such as India and China, is one of the main reasons why Nokia Siemens Networks is acquiring privately held Atrica, a Santa Clara, Calif.-based equipment maker. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Atrica counts Orange Business Services, KVH and Optimum LightPath among its 40-odd customers. The deal set to close by the end of 2007 is part of my ongoing thesis that there is little or no room for mid tier-telecom equipment makers, even if they are part of a fast-growing sector such as carrier Ethernet.

Matisse Networks and Qosera are two new startups looking to capture the carrier Ethernet opportunity. Atrica had raised a total of $134 million in funding from Accel Partners, Benchmark Capital, BellSouth Corp., SBC Communications, 3Com Corporation, and Intel Capital among others.