Moto Sheds Wireless Gear

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Schaumburg, Ill.
Motorola, ahead of its planned
split into two companies in the
first quarter of 2011, last week
sold off its declining wireless
network infrastructure unit to
Nokia Siemens Networks for
about $1.2 billion in cash.

Analyst were positive on the
sale but the Wall Street consensus
was that it would have no
bearing on the future of Motorola’s
recently formed Mobile
Devices and Home business,
which combines the company’s
handsets and the cable-oriented
Home business.

The divestiture is “positive
for shareholders” but it has “no
implications for the Home business,”
Sanford Bernstein senior
analyst Pierre Ferragu said.

Benefiting from the deal
will be the Motorola Solutions
group, which after the Nokia
Siemens deal will include the
enterprise, government and
public safety business units.
That group now will be “unburdened”
by the wireless infrastructure
group, Oppenheimer
& Co analyst Ittai Kidron wrote
in a research note.

“Bottom line, Motorola is
taking more steps to separate
their businesses and get fair
market value — a positive,”
Kidron said.

Motorola’s wireless networking
infrastructure business
provides products and services
for wireless carriers and
spans technologies including
GSM, CDMA, WiMax and LTE.
As part of the deal, Nokia Siemens
Networks expects to gain
incumbent relationships with
more than 50 operators, including
Clearwire, Sprint, Verizon
Wireless and Vodafone. The
companies expect to close the
deal by the end of the year.

Under the terms of the transaction,
Motorola will retain the
iDEN business, a mobile telecommunications
technology it
developed, as well as substantially
all the patents related to
its wireless network infrastructure
business and other selected
assets.

In addition, Nokia Siemens
Networks and Motorola said
they also are exploring a global
relationship in the public safety
market, which would combine
Motorola’s solutions for publicsafety
organizations with Nokia
Siemens Networks’ commercial
LTE solutions.

Nokia Siemens Networks, a
joint venture between Finland’s
Nokia and Germany’s Siemens,
has about 60,000 employees
worldwide.

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