Siemens to merge its communications units

Siemens AG is merging its mobile and fixed communications businesses into a single group called Siemens Communications, adapting itself to a changing market in which wireless and wireline technologies increasingly overlap.

Siemens Communications, to be based in the global electronics and engineering giant’s home town of Munich, will have under its umbrella Siemens’ wireless and wireline infrastructure and devices, as well as products for converged IP (Internet Protocol) data and voice networks, the company said in a statement. To form the new group, Siemens will merge its Siemens ICN (Information and Communication Networks) and Siemens ICM (Information and Communication Mobile) groups. The changes are set to become effective on Oct. 1.

The mergers are aimed at helping Siemens better serve customers in a changing industry, Mattes said.

“We’re in a market environment where a lot of things are converging,” including enterprise and carrier networks and wireless and wireline infrastructure, Mattes said. A merged business will help Siemens leverage technologies such as software-based telecommunications “softswitches” for both wireless and wireline networks. Newly developed features could more easily be made available for different types of products, he said.

“It will help us to address more customers with a broader product portfolio (and) solutions portfolio, and it will help us to gain market share. I’m convinced of that,” Mattes said.

The changes at Siemens make sense in a world where wired and wireless technology is overlapping, according to analyst Frank Dzubeck, president of Communications Network Architects Inc., in Washington, D.C. For example, whereas wireless once meant primarily mobile phone technology, it now includes wireless LAN hotspots and fixed wireless broadband systems, he said. Other major vendors, including Lucent Technologies Inc., also are seeking to leverage their resources across wireless and wireline categories, he said.

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