Motorola Inc. has found a buyer for its wireless network equipment unit. Nokia Siemens Networks BV of Espoo, Finland will pay US$1.2 billion for most of that business, the companies announced Monday.
U.S. operator Sprint Nextel, among others.
Motorola was a rarity in the mobile phone business, producing both handsets and network infrastructure. Most of the other big players have already split their operations. LM Ericsson retained its network business but formed a joint venture with Sony to make phones; Alcatel sold its handset manufacturing operations (although it still sells those handsets under its own brand in France), and Siemens got out of both businesses, selling its mobile phone subsidiary and pooling its infrastructure business with Nokia to form Nokia Siemens Networks, the company buying Motorola’s infrastructure activities.
Nokia Siemens Networks tried to buy Nortel Networks Corp.’s carrier wireless unit last year but Ericsson acquired that unit because it was willing to pay a higher price.
Motorola isn’t done with its break-up yet. As a first step to a sell-off, it has created a subsidiary called Motorola Mobility to handle its mobile phone unit and home networking business, which makes set-top boxes.
Peter Sayer covers open source software, European intellectual property legislation and general technology breaking news for IDG News Service. Send comments and news tips to Peter at email@example.com.