NSN buys Motorola Networks Unit for USD 1.2 bln

Nokia Siemens Networks has agreed to buy most of Motorola’s mobile network equipment business for USD 1.2 billion cash, strengthening its position as the number-two global network equipment provider.

The business includes equipment for GSM, CDMA, WCDMA, Wimax and LTE networks.

Motorola’s footprint covers 41 Wimax contracts in 21 countries, 30 active CDMA networks in 22 countries and more than 80 GSM networks in 66 countries.

NSN said the deal will give it access to more than 50 new operator customers and strengthen its relationship with big operators such as Verizon Wireless, KDDI, China Mobile, Sprint and Vodafone.

In addition the profitable business should help the Nokia venture boost its margins and cash flow.

Around 7,500 Motorola employees will transfer to NSN, as well as large research and development sites in the US, China and India.

The deal comes shortly after Motorola started the process of splitting its operations into two companies, with one focused on mobile phones and set-top boxes and the other supplying enterprise and network equipment.

Motorola will hold on to its iDen mobile networks business as well as almost all of its wireless network patents. The companies expect to close the deal by the end of 2010, subject to regulatory approval.

Nokia Siemens Networks and Motorola said they are also considering a global partnership in the public safety arena, combining Motorola’s public safety products with Nokia Siemens Networks’ LTE equipment.