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Canadian government makes final ruling on Nortel LTE sale

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nortel_broken

RIM has been lobbying very hard to get the Canadian government to intervene in the deal between Nortel and Sony Ericsson. The deal involves the sale of a variety of Nortel’s assets including their LTE operations, which are of great interest to RIM in order to future-proof devices.

The Canadian government has ruled on the issue and declined to review the $1.13 billion sale of Nortel Networks’ CDMA and LTE assets to Ericsson. The announcement was made by Canada’s Industry Minister, Tony Clement, and it closes any possibility of the Canadian government intervening in favor of RIM.

The underlying reasons for which RIM wanted the Canadian government to intervene are vague at best. The Investment Canada Act stipulates that the Canadian government must intervene if the sale of Canadian assets to a foreign country poses some security risk.

“There are no grounds to believe this transaction could be injurious to Canada’s national security,” Clement said Wednesday, adding that Ericsson “has the resources and customer base necessary to bring Canadian innovation to market. … This deal is very beneficial to Canada.”

So it looks as though RIM is going to have to find another way to acquire the LTE and CDMA technology it desires.

[Via]

Coming to BlackBerry? Rogers debuts HSPA+ (3.75G) network

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The above video is Neville Ray, SVP of Engineering and Operations, T-Mobile USA, discussing their strategy with respect to rolling out HSPA / HSPA+ networks and services in the USA. This demonstrates that several major carriers, now Rogers included, will be rolling out these networks in the near future.

Rogers have just announced the debut of their HSPA+ network in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area). This is incredible news for mobile Internet users, as they can now get access to speeds roughly equivalent to 3.75G with a mobile Internet stick.

From a BlackBerry perspective, this isn’t immediately pressing news. Back when Rogers announced their 3G network, called HSDPA and announced April 2nd, 2007, it took RIM around a year and a half to release a BlackBerry that was capable of taking advantage of the network: the BlackBerry Bold.

From the Press Release: “Rogers has begun the Canada-wide deployment of the 21 Megabits per second (Mbps) high-speed HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) wireless network, following the successful expansion and doubling of speed of its high-speed network to 7.2 Mbps last year. Starting in August, Rogers will progressively increase wireless network download speeds up to 21 Mbps in the Greater Toronto Area, and expand quickly over the coming months to other cities across the country.”

The question is: will RIM even bother to make a device that utilizes the HSPA+ network? Currently, 3G seems to satisfy the needs of the market. We know that RIM has plans to make LTE compatible BlackBerry devices, which could mean we’ll skip HSPA all together.

What applications do we envision with an HSPA+ enabled device?

[Special thanks goes out to RogersDude69]

Roundup of Nortel bids: RIM exceeds highest bid by $375 million

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nortel_broken

At the moment, there are three major bidders for Nortel’s technology: RIM, Nokia and MatlinPatterson. RIM’s bid exceeds the leading bid by $375 million and Nortel is still dragging its feet. While Nortel is clearly holding off in the hopes of getting a better bid, it may hurt the company’s prospects in the end. If the company does not accept RIM’s bid, it stands to lose the $375 million and accept the next lowest bid. Lets take a look at all three bids:

RIM

RIM has offered to pay $1.1 billion US for Nortel’s CDMA and LTE technology. RIM is not only the largest bidder by far, but it is also a Canadian company, just like Nortel. Canadians can still remember when Nortel’s stock plunged and investors lost millions of dollars. It would be great to see this failed company pass along a Canadian made technology to a company that will employ Canadians and keep the investment local.

Nokia

Nokia Siemens Networks, a joint European venture, has offered to bid $650 million. While they have said they would raise this bid, it is still $450 million short of what RIM is bidding.

MatlinPatterson

MatlinPatterson is a US private equity firm who have offered to pay $725 million US. MatlinPatterson currently owns about 10 per cent of Nortel’s $4.2 billion US of debt. What’s nice about the MatlinPatterson offer, is that the company ultimately wants keep Nortel, a 127-year-old Canadian technology icon, intact as a single company.

RIM barred from bidding on Nortel assets

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canadianfail

This economy is providing a great deal of opportunity for companies looking to acquire technology and profitable ventures that add to the books. Nortel is a company that has been in financial dire straits for years, and they are having a bankruptcy auction on July 24th, 2009, where RIM has been barred from making bids.

Nortel’s CDMA and Long Term Evolution Access businesses are up for auction, but RIM has been told it could be qualified for bidding only if it promised not to submit offers for other Nortel assets for a period of one year. In seeking to impose this condition, Nortel and its advisors were fully aware of RIM’s desire to purchase other Nortel assets as part of a solution to retain key portions of Nortel’s business under Canadian ownership. Despite repeated efforts, Nortel, its advisors and its court-appointed monitor have rejected RIM’s repeated attempts to engage in meaningful discussions.

A preliminary review, reveals RIM would be prepared to pay in the range of US $1.1 billion for the assets. This is a great deal for Nortel, which could use the cash, and it’s a great deal for RIM, which could use the CDMA and LTE technology to improve BlackBerry devices and infrastructure.

Jim Balsillie said “RIM is extremely disappointed that Nortel’s world leading technology, the development of which has been funded in part by Canadian taxpayers, seems destined to leave Canada and that Canada’s own Export Development Corporation is preparing to help by lending $300 million to another bidder. RIM remains extremely interested in acquiring Nortel assets through a Canadian ownership solution that would serve the dual purpose of keeping key wireless technologies in Canada and extending RIM’s leadership in the research, development and distribution of leading edge wireless solutions, but RIM has found itself blocked at every turn.”

Nortel is a failing company while RIM is both profitable and a source of Canadian patriotism. At this point, we should consider government intervention to move this deal ahead.

Wireless carriers to spend $3.3 billion on LTE in 2011

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LTE is going to be an incredible evolutionary step for BlackBerry and smartphones. The technology will change the way we use data on our phone as well as aid carriers in coping with an increased network load.

According to research from ABI, wireless operators will spend about $3.3 billion building LTE base stations in 2011. That expenditure will have purchased some 142,000 base stations worldwide. LTE base station equipment spending is expected to rise sharply between 2011 and the end of 2012.

“Vendors will be shipping base station equipment in significant quantities in 2010 ahead of limited trials that typically last about a year, followed by full commercial launches,” says senior analyst Nadine Manjaro. “Many operators have been talking about re-use of existing equipment, but ABI Research understands that while there may be sharing of masts and cabinets most of those 142,000 base stations will have completely new baseband and RF components, because operators will generally try to keep the new LTE networks separate from their legacy networks.”
Continue reading the ABI Research data regarding LTE

What to expect from an LTE BlackBerry device

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At the Canadian Telecom Summit yesterday the major Canadian carriers said they’re on board for LTE and are making preparations for a full-scale rollout of the technology.

This is great news considering BlackBerry devices are upgrading at a rate which will be hindered if the carriers don’t keep up and update the network infrastructure. At the conference, Mike Lazaridis said “Consumption is going to continue to grow. This, in my opinion, is one of the most important problems facing the industry in the near future.”

Carriers, such as Verizon and Rogers, have significantly invested in LTE technology and we’ll hopefully be seeing it sometime in the year 2011.

With the launch of the first LTE networks, you can rest assured that RIM will have an LTE BlackBerry ready to use the 4G equivalent speeds and technology. Now the question is: what would an LTE BlackBerry device look like?
Continue reading about what we can expect from an LTE BlackBerry device