CHICAGO—As Mark Twain might say, despite reports to contrary, Nortel is alive and well when it comes to LTE.
Rumors started circulating a couple of weeks ago after Nortel released its financials amid a statement it wanted to “mitigate” risks associated with its 4G technology investments. There was some speculation Nortel might get out of the LTE business. The company earlier sold its W-CDMA business to Alcatel and decided to partner with Alvarion on WiMAX equipment.
Not true at all, according to Danny Locklear, vice president of marketing for Nortel’s Carrier Networks units. Locklear said Nortel definitely intends to be a player in the LTE market, as well as WiMAX. The manufacturer is trialing its LTE equipment with Verizon Wireless, as well as with T-Mobile in Germany.
“We see a huge global opportunity with LTE,” Locklear said. “WiMAX is a good opportunity as well, although not as large.”
He said Nortel is evaluating several options with LTE going forward, including the possibility of a partnership like the one it has with Alvarion for WiMAX. In that case, Nortel bundles Alvarion’s base station with Nortel’s other WiMAX products, such as its gateways. Nortel also is continuing to invest in WiMAX R&D through Alvarion.
Locklear said Nortel is looking at the possibility of LTE partnerships but didn’t go into detail. Nortel already has a partnership with LG for LTE devices, which are being used in the T-Mobile trial. He said Nortel plans to announce soon another partnership with an Asian manufacturer, mainly in a go-to-market strategy.
Nortel learned by failing to win an initial contract in Sprint’s Xohm network launch, Locklear said. Sprint chose Samsung, Nokia and Nokia Siemens, and Motorola for its first three vendors. Locklear said it was obvious Sprint chose vendors with devices as well as infrastructure and that’s why Nortel has partnered with LG.