Motorola announced today that it would be selling its wireless equipment division — which supplies wireless infrastructure to cellular carriers like Verizon and Sprint Nextel – to Nokia Siemens for $1.2 billion.
The deal would land Nokia Siemens — a joint venture between its Finnish and German parent companies — relationships with more than 50 wireless operators, and “strengthen relationships with others.” The division provides products and services for a variety of wireless networks. According to the press release, it’s a “market leader in WiMAX [4G network technology], with 41 contracts in 21 countries; has a strong global footprint in CDMA with 30 active networks in 22 countries; and a robust GSM installed base, with more than 80 active networks in 66 countries; and excellent traction with LTE early adopters.”
Based on the division’s revenue, Nokia Siemens expects the acquisition to make it the No. 2 wireless infrastructure vendor globally, the No. 3 vendor in the US, and Japan’s No. 1 foreign vendor.
When the deal closes at the end of the year, more than 7,500 employees will move to Nokia Siemens, which has significant research and development operations in the US, China, and India. Motorola will retain its wireless infrastructure patent portfolio as well as its iDEN technology that powers the push-to-talk feature on Sprint Nextel phones.
Motorola has long talked about dividing up its wireless business. It will be spinning off its handset business as Motorola Mobility in the first quarter of next year. Motorola Solutions, which caters to government and corporate clients with products like bar-code scanners and police radios, will be the remainder, according to the AP.
Motorola shares rose 21 cents, or 2.8 percent, Monday morning.