Nokia and Siemens are investing at least €500 million each in their Nokia Siemens Networks joint venture. The renewed commitment to the partnership together with the launch of Liquid Net could foster renewed hopes of a public floatation of NSN at some time in the not too distant future. By Martyn Warwick.
Earlier this week at the Broadband World Forum Event in Paris, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) spent a lot of time and effort talking about its Liquid Net concept and portfolio of products that virtualise important parts of a network by using beam-shaping technologies that can add instant extra capacity to the radio, transport and core network elements, on demand.
The use of the work "Liquid" to describe the new initiative is interesting and even poignant given that NSN has had a torrid time of it of late and has been more than a bit strapped for cash. But, having tried and failed to sell all or part of itself earlier this year, NSN's parents in the joint venture, Nokia of Finland and Siemens of Germany, have now delved into the coffers and each is to invest upwards of €500 million in cash (to a total of €1.36 billion) in the partnership to make it financially as well as technologically "liquid".
NSN, which started life with an mighty fanfare back in 2007 has yet to turn a profit, but things are looking better for the company now than they have done in years.
The big injection of capital is sorely needed and signals to the market that NSN is here to stay and intends to be a major player in the comms infrastructure sector.
That said, the company needs to make some big changes and must re-organise if it is to take maximum advantage of the edge Liquid Net could well give it over its rivals.To that end, the company has taken on as executive chairman Jesper Ovesen, the former CFO of the danish telco TDC. He replaces the ill-fated Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.
In a statement NSN says, "The fresh capital will further strengthen NSN's financial position and set the stage for strategic flexibility, productivity and innovation in areas such as mobile broadband and related services."
Meanwhile though, parent company Nokia is to cut a further 3,500 jobs. Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, and never a man able to call a sturdy digging implement having a thick handle and a heavy, flat blade that can be pressed into the ground with the foot anything as simple as "a spade" says the mass firing "aligns our workforce and operations with our path forward."
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