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Nokia is looking to beef up its infrastructure play in the US with the acquisition of Schaumburg, Ill.-based indoor wireless specialist SAC Wireless, announced on Wednesday.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) said in a statement that it expects it to close in the third quarter of 2014. The newly handset-free infrastructure vendor is hoping to use SAC's infrastructure expertise to strengthen its presence in the North American RAN market. (See Nokia CEO Must Channel Fighting Spirit.)
SAC designs, installs and maintains indoor and outdoor distributed antenna systems (DAS) for better wireless coverage in stadiums, hospitals, government facilities, and enterprises. The company claims all the major US wireless operators among its customers. (See Must Haves for the Big Game? DAS & WiFi.)
Nokia already has a relationship with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) here, but like competitor Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), wants to get in closer with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless . Current Analysis analyst Ed Gubbins says the SAC acquisition should help boost Nokia's presence in North America and offer a way to deepen their relationship with the Tier 1s despite not having LTE basestation contracts with AT&T or Verizon. (See AT&T, Verizon Mulling Managed Services With Ericsson and Sprint Sparks Up Vendors for Faster 4G LTE.)
The deal helps Nokia's US presence in mobile broadband infrastructure, Gubbins says, but, more specifically, it boosts its capabilities in indoor enterprise network deployment services. The analyst says this is "highly relevant to the small-cell opportunity that's ramping up now and relevant to AT&T and Verizon in particular, which are both rolling out small cells." (See NSN to Take Its Flexi Zone to Work and AT&T Gets 'Opportunistic' With 4G Small Cells.)
Like Nokia's recent Mesaplexx buy, both purchased with fresh cash from Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), the SAC acquisition was all about Nokia's existing core business, not extending its capabilities, something Ricky Corker, executive vice president of North America for Nokia Networks, acknowledged in announcing the acquisition. (See Nokia Buys RF Smarts to Shrink Basestations and Microsoft Officially Closes Nokia Buy.)
"With SAC Wireless' capabilities complementing our own in-house expertise, we are well positioned to bring enhanced quality and increased end-to-end delivery efficiency to our customers," he writes in the release. "No other infrastructure provider is offering this level of proven services."
This is far from the only acquisition announced in July, just two days in. Interestingly, CommScope Inc. is also looking to beef up its indoor enterprise play and just yesterday announced the acquisition of two business units from a small UK-based provider of small cell services, Alifabs Group. (See CommScope Acquires UK Wireless Specialist, Spirent Spends $25M on Radvision VoLTE Unit, Google Adds Songza to Its M&A Playlist, and EZchip Strikes $130M Deal to Buy Tilera.)
The M&A flurry is in large part a response to the complexities around indoor deployments -- acquiring sites and permits, backhauling small cells, mitigating interference, and business models -- are all challenges network operators are working through now. (See Indoor Market Driving LTE Small Cell Push.)
Nokia says SAC's 450 employees and its expertise in site development, "self-perform" implementation of indoor and outdoor small cells and DAS, and program management will complement its in-house capabilities to implement these typically sub-contracted services.
Nokia Networks to buy SAC Wireless to boost network implementation services in the U.S.
Operator customers to enjoy proven services and capabilities that are unmatched in the industry
July 2, 2014
Espoo, Finland and Irving, Texas – Nokia Networks today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire SAC Wireless, a premier self-performing provider of infrastructure and network deployment solutions. Based in Schaumburg, Illinois, SAC Wireless has a national footprint and proven performance track record working with major telecom operators.
Nokia Networks expects to close the transaction in the third quarter of 2014, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to bring clear revenue synergies.
“This acquisition builds on our existing strengths and continued investment in our customers’ success. Once the transaction has been completed, it will help us increase market share in the network implementation space,” said Ricky Corker, executive vice president of North America for Nokia Networks. “With SAC Wireless’ capabilities complementing our own in-house expertise, we are well positioned to bring enhanced quality and increased end-to-end delivery efficiency to our customers. No other infrastructure provider is offering this level of proven services.”
Complexities surrounding site acquisition, permitting, sub-contractor availability, and quality often hinder network rollout and time to market. As a result, operators want more direct control over their network deployments. Through this acquisition, Nokia Networks addresses these challenges head-on. SAC Wireless’ resources, including approximately 450 employees, and proven expertise complement Nokia Networks’ in-house capabilities to self-perform typically sub-contracted services.
“As we continue to build an even stronger foundation for our U.S. services business, we see great opportunities to help our customers address the tough challenges of network deployment. These range from indoor/outdoor small cells, distributed antenna systems, 4G LTE upgrades, and solving backhaul connectivity and bandwidth issues,” said Jorg Erlemeier, vice president of North America Market Services for Nokia Networks. “SAC Wireless is to augment our existing network implementation service capabilities and increase the size and effectiveness of our delivery organization.”
SAC Wireless’ services offer operators such business benefits as speed to market, quality implementation, and reduction of risks associated with complex deployment issues.
These services include:
The SAC Wireless Engine Room™, a revolutionary process focused on managing site development, architectural and engineering, regulatory and compliance activities for national network programs, providing increased quality, scalability and productivity while significantly reducing site development costs;
Self-perform implementation of indoor and outdoor small cells and distributed antenna systems (DAS), RF engineering and design, construction management and services, Head-End Room development, BTS installation, commissioning, and system testing / optimization;
Turnkey program management of large scale network deployments including: new site builds, network modernization, site hardening and survivability, fiber to the premise, microwave implementation and pathing, operations, and maintenance.
The aggregate dividend will be paid to shareholders directly registered in the Register of Shareholders of the Company on the record date of the dividend payment , June 23, 2014. The Board proposes that the dividend be paid on or about July 3, 2014.
Nokia’s optimization services to enhance Celcom’s network performance in Malaysia
Enriches subscriber service experience using the expertise of Nokia’s global services
May 29, 2014
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Celcom Axiata Berhad (Celcom), Malaysia’s premier mobile telecommunications provider and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Axiata Group Berhad, has selected Nokia’s optimization services to enhance its network, voice and data quality in Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur.
“This initiative is part of our network optimization program to provide a top quality mobile network to Celcom’s customers in Malaysia. After implementing it across Sabah, Sarawak and the East Coast, we are expanding this program to the Klang Valley. This year, we will be investing about RM1 billion to improve network quality and capacity for better data services, with the target of completing 2,014 active 4G LTE sites nationwide by the end of the year,” said Dato’ Sri Shazalli Ramly, Chief Executive Officer of Celcom Axiata Berhad.
“Nokia, one of our key suppliers and partners, has a deep understanding of our network infrastructure as well as the capability and expertise to take it to the next level. We believe that this partnership will enhance our overall network performance by addressing issues that affect quality of services. We put customers at the core of our business, and our efforts will enable subscribers to enjoy the best-in-class customer experience, wherever and whenever they are in Celcom Fastest Territory’s fastest and widest mobile network.”
“This deal marks another important milestone in the two companies’ long-standing partnership,” said John Lancaster-Lennox, head of Asia South, Networks, Nokia. “Leveraging upon our expertise and experience in global network deployments, we will implement our market-leading solutions to ensure that Celcom has the highest quality network in Malaysia and retains its position as the operator-of-choice in the country.”
Nokia will use real-time network information combined with the latest geolocation techniques to plan and optimize Celcom’s 2G and 3G radio network infrastructure. By profiling device usage and behavior as well as traffic patterns, Nokia’s unique optimization service* will pinpoint exactly where additional capacity or coverage is needed. Together, Nokia and Celcom will then plan the best solutions** to handle rapidly growing data traffic, boost network performance and enhance the mobile broadband experience for each user. Network optimization is supported further by device profiling and the company’s Smart Device Insight which measures the actual user experience, enabling targeted and swift improvement actions.
Nokia, NSN upgraded to BB by S&P
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has raised its long-term corporate credit rating on Finnish technology company Nokia Corp. and on its subsidiary Nokia Solutions and Networks B.V. to 'BB' from 'B+'. The outlook is positive. S&P also affirmed the 'B' short-term rating on Nokia. S&P says "The upgrade reflects our anticipation that the company will reduce gross debt by EUR2 billion by using part of the EUR5.6B proceeds from the sale of its cash-burning Device & Services division, and will keep comfortable cash balances even after Nokia's announced EUR3B of shareholder returns. Given the importance of NSN for the Nokia group following the sale of the cash-burning D&S, we will now equalize our rating on NSN with that on Nokia. The upgrade of NSN therefore reflects our view of NSN as a 'core' subsidiary of Nokia, based notably on its integrated and material role for Nokia and Nokia's full ownership. As per our group rating methodology, the ratings and outlook on NSN mirror the long-term corporate credit rating and outlook on Nokia."
(Reuters) - Nokia reported a surprise year-on-year rise in the quarterly profit of its network equipment unit, its core business after the sale of phone division to Microsoft
The Finnish company said its first-quarter operating profit for the networks business grew 10 percent from a year ago to 216 million euros ($299 million), topping all forecasts in a Reuters poll of analysts which had an average expectation of 143 million euros.
Nokia's group earnings per share in the quarter were 0.04 euros, ahead of the market expectation of 0.03 euros.
Nokia earlier on Tuesday announced that Rajeev Suri, the chief of its networks unit, will become the group's next chief executive next month and said it would return 2.25 billion euros to shareholders. ($1 = 0.7223 Euros) (Reporting By Jussi Rosendahl; Editing by Robert Birsel)
Nokia expects the sale of substantially all of its Devices & Services business to Microsoft to close on April
Stock exchange release
April 21, 2014 at 16.55 (CET +1)
Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced that it expects the transaction whereby the company will sell substantially all of its Devices & Services business to Microsoft to close on April 25, 2014. The transaction is now subject only to certain customary closing conditions.
The transaction was originally announced on September 3, 2013.
The Finnish mobile maker Nokia has told its workers at the Sriperumbudur factory, near Chennai, that it might have to reduce number of people in the factory, which the Union has strongly objected. The Union has said that they will take any steps to protect their employment of around 8,000 people, 50% of which are women, who are working in the factory.
On Wednesday, the Union and the management had an hour-long meeting in Chennai, to discuss the fate of the factory and the employees, which was supposed to get transferred to Microsoft before March 31 as part of the Euro 5.44 billion deal.
However, the Apex Court last Friday ordered Nokia to give a Rs 3,500 crore guarantee before it transfers one of its biggest plants globally, which is located at Sriperumbudur, around 40 kms from Chennai, to Microsoft. The Order upheld a lower court verdict over the plant, which is the subject of a income tax dispute, and had been challenged by the Finnish company.
M Saravana Kumar, president, Nokia India Thozhilalar Sangham, who represented the workers in the meeting said "the management said that they have not got any update from Microsoft or their seniors on the deals. They also said they may reduce number of workers in the factory since order flow has slowed down".
He noted, three months back the company reduced number of shifts from three to two.
Nokia officials and spokesperson did not comment on any of the issues, which was mentioned by the Union.
Kumar said, "we clearly told them there is no question of cutting down the jobs and will take any steps to protect our jobs".
The Union also planning to approach the State Government requesting them to interfere in the matter, as labour is related to State subject.
Sources in the company confirmed that the number of shifts was reduced to two, but it was not related to slowdown it was more to balance the operations between the plants, across the World. During this time the company has started Vietnam plant so it is a question of balancing the production.
Nokia's factory currently employees around 8,000 people directly and another 25000 indirectly. So far, since its inspection, the factory produced 800 million handsets.
ChinaCache signs MoU with NSN to strengthen mobile capabilities in China
Nokia Solutions and Networks, or NSN, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nokia (NOK), and ChinaCache International (CCIH) announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MoU, to incorporate ChinaCache's content delivery network, or CDN, technology into NSN's Liquid Applications solution. The collaboration is designed to enable content to be delivered directly from the LTE base station, which translates into faster data throughput and a whole new level of personalization for superior customer experience. ChinaCache is the leading total solutions provider of Internet content and application delivery services in China.The intent of the collaboration is to further enhance Liquid Applications and expand ChinaCache's competencies in mobile Internet content delivery. Liquid Applications will enable innovative features for ChinaCache's current technology, such as improved location capabilities, awareness of user behavior, and real-time adaptation to network conditions.
Per the WSJ:
Network equipment vendor Nokia Solutions and Networks said Wednesday it has been selected by Taiwan Mobile Co. Ltd. ( Taiwan Mobile Co., Ltd.) as sole supplier for its LTE-Advanced network.
NSN is now the sole supplier of Taiwan Mobile's 2G, 3G and 4G networks.
Nokia will hang onto the plant and manufacture for MSFT--at a profit for a year. At the end of the year, MSFT has shifted manufacturing to Asia, and Nokia walks away. India is left with the plant, which they "gift" to one of their local manufacturer (read, sell under the table).
From one of the India tax articles:
"Nokia counsel said that the Microsoft global deal will be closed within 20 days. Even some bureaucratic hitches in China have been resolved. If the deal is stuck in India, it will go without Chennai plant manufacturing handset for the Finnish parent."
The Supreme Court today said that it wants to find some sort of an amicable solution that is acceptable to both Nokia and the Income Tax (I-T) department and that it wants to protect the interests of both the parties. For this, Nokia has been asked to submit a report of valuation of its India entities because the Supreme Court wants to make sure that even after the Microsoft deal goes through , there is sufficient amount that can secure the interests of the I-T department. Once Nokia comes back with the valuations, an upfront amount they said approximately would be in the range of Rs 2700-3000 crore for its India operations, a view is going to be taken up by the Supreme Court. The I-T department reiterated that there is at least tax liability of Rs 10000 crore against Nokia and that the company must be asked to submit a bank guarantee and not just an undertaking. It also wanted Nokia Finland to submit an assurance. To which the Supreme Court said that Nokia Finland, which is a holding company cannot be forced to protect the interest of the subsidiary. The apex court also pointed out that Rs 3500 crore, which was paid by Nokia India to Nokia Finland by way of dividends cannot be brought back simply because it is the right of the subsidiary to pay dividend to the holding company. RELATED NEWS
I imagine MSFT really does not want the India plant. Too easy to have phones built in Asia by multiple outsourcers, and who needs the hassle that India is proving to be?