What’s Left of Nortel Today?

Almost a year after Nortel filed for bankruptcy, we take a look at what’s left of the 114-year-old company that began as Northern Electric and Manufacturing to sell telephones to Canadians. All that remains are some patents and an IP phone joint venture with LG.

Ciena Buys Growth With Nortel Metro Ethernet Deal

Ciena (s cien) today beat out Nokia (S NOK) Siemens (S SI) Network to buy bankrupt Nortel’s metro Ethernet business for $769 million, winning the bidding war for the assets that it began in October. A court will still have to approve the deal that will see Ciena, which makes fiber optical equipment, pay $530 million in cash and issue $239 million in debt that will be due in 2017. The transaction will more than double Ciena’s sales when it closes in the first quarter of 2010. Read More about Ciena Buys Growth With Nortel Metro Ethernet Deal

Microsoft: No Restrictions on Windows 7 Version for Netbooks

win-7-starterMicrosoft has confirmed to tgdaily that OEMs will be free to install any version of Windows 7 on netbooks. This is a change from the original policy that stated only Windows 7 Starter or Basic Editions would be allowed on low-end notebooks such as netbooks.

“OEMs and ODMs have the choice to install any version of Windows on a netbook,” said a  Microsoft UK spokesperson. “[But] Starter is an entry version and doesn’t have many of the consumer or business features. The three application limit isn’t there anymore.”

The reaction to the three application limit was largely negative when it was first announced by Microsoft, and this limit is primarily the main difference between the Starter and Basic Editions. OEMs will no doubt still be looking at keeping the OS licensing cost down on low-margin netbooks, but at least they have the option to install a more complete version of Windows 7.

Windows 7 Starter lacks advanced features of the OS, with desktop personalization, Aero, DVD playback and Internet Connection Sharing chief among them.

Global Cell Phone Growth Slowed During Q1

Global revenue growth from mobile phone subscriptions has slowed, according to data released today by research firm Telegeography. The firm notes that the top 20 global service providers generated $251 billion during the first three months of 2009, which was only up 3 percent from the same period last year. Part of the slowed growth was related to market saturation, but Telegeography said it was also tied to the lousy economy, which depressed demand.

India and China, which together accounted for 48 percent of the global growth, were bright spots on the world stage. The U.S. and Canada saw only 2 percent growth, however the U.S. did add 1 million broadband subscribers, demonstrating how wireless data can offer some growth for a carrier in saturated markets. Worldwide broadband subscriber additions during the quarter came in at 14 million. Read More about Global Cell Phone Growth Slowed During Q1

Nortel Won’t Be Coming Back from Bankruptcy

logo_purpleNokia Siemens Networks has offered to buy several business units of  bankrupt telecommunications gear provider Nortel (s NT), according to the Wall Street Journal. The Journal reports that Nokia Siemens has bid on Nortel’s Long Term Evolution (LTE) R&D unit and its carrier networks business, to help expand its sales in the U.S. The paper also reports that Avaya and Siemens Enterprise Communications are interested in Nortel’s business telecommunications unit, which includes VoIP gear.
Executives at Nortel, which filed for bankruptcy back in January, had said the company planned to emerge from bankruptcy, but as the process continues that scenario looks less likely. Instead, the Canadian company is being dismantled and sold for parts, pending approval from the bankruptcy court. Other vendors circling Nortel’s carcass include Genband, a maker of media gateways for telecommunications networks, which is said to be bidding on Nortel’s gateway business; and Golden Gate Capital, a private equity firm interested in the business communications assets coveted by Avaya and Siemens Enterprise.
In March, Radware (s RDWR), an application delivery optimization company, sealed the deal for Nortel’s application delivery assets. It paid $18 million for a business unit that cost Nortel $7 billion back in 2000.

Nortel Keeps Market Guessing, Will It Sell or Slim Down?

logo_purpleLike any celebrity coyly letting the tabloids speculate about the status of her relationship, the bankrupt Nortel (s NT) seems to have the business press all aflutter with news that instead of emerging from bankruptcy, the company may break up its business. The Wall Street Journal says the Canadian telecommunications gear maker is considering selling its core wirelesss gear business, which generates the most cash. Nokia Siemens Networks (s NOK) (s SI) is listed as a potential bidder. Read More about Nortel Keeps Market Guessing, Will It Sell or Slim Down?

China’s 3G Plans to Benefit Local Vendors

Three Chinese mobile networks plan to spend a total of 280 billion yuan ($41 billion) over the next two years building out 3G networks, for which the government will announce licenses at the end of 2008 or in early 2009. Plans like that would normally have equipment vendors around the world salivating, but in truth it’s Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE that will likely gain most of the yuan in this transition. The two vendors are rare among their telco equipment-making peers in expecting growth in 2009 and both have cited the Chinese transition to 3G has the reason behind their optimism. Read More about China’s 3G Plans to Benefit Local Vendors