It has taken several months, but LM Ericsson is finally the owner of Nortel Networks' multiservice switch business. The company made its bid almost six months ago for the line as part of Nortel's bankrupcy proceedings.
The acquistiion gives Ericsson a base of wireless customers around the world using Nortel's CDMA technology that is looking for an upgrade path to the next generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology.
“We are gaining a solid business with a significant installed base and technology that complements our existing Ericsson portfolio,” said Rima Qureshi, senior-vice president and head of Ericsson's CDMA Mobile Systems unit.
The Nortel gear will now be called PPX switches.
Finding a path to LTE for CDMA carriers is important. Until recently, the maximum data speed that CDMA's EVDO Rev A standard could supply under ideal conditions was 3.5 megabits per second, which couldn't compete with smart phones offered by competitors running wireless networks under the GSM standard at 7.2 Mpbs. And GSM offered a relatively straightforward path to LTE by using a techology called HSPA. It offers significantly faster wireless data speeds.
Bell and Telus, which have Nortel-based CDMA networks, co-built a new HSPA network for that reason a year ago using equipment from Huawei Technologies and Nokia Siemens Networks. The carriers claim wireless data speeds of 42 Mbps under ideal conditions, although subscribers are more likely to see average speeds of a third of that.
For CDMA carriers who don't have to rush to LTE, Ericsson has just updated EVDO to Rev B, which offers download speeds of up to 9.3 Mbps under ideal conditions.