Nokia Siemens Networks to add Atrica to fold

OCTOBER 25, 2007 By Stephen Hardy -- Nokia Siemens Networks hopes to strengthen its play in Carrier Ethernet. For Atrica, the deal opens the door to a larger role in the residential market, says a company source.

OCTOBER 25, 2007 By Stephen Hardy -- Nokia Siemens Networks (search for Nokia Siemens) hopes to strengthen its play in Carrier Ethernet with the announcement that it will acquire Atrica Inc. (search for Atrica) in a transaction expected to close by the end of this year. For Atrica, the deal opens the door to a larger role in the residential market, says a company source.

Atrica was one of the earliest entrants into the Carrier Ethernet space, offering a technology it called "Optical Ethernet." The company boasts more than 40 customers for its Ethernet edge, aggregation, and demarcation equipment.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to Umesh Kukreja, Atrica's director of product marketing, the two companies complement each other in terms of product line; Atrica is strong in Carrier Ethernet gear directed toward delivering services to customers, while Nokia Siemens Networks' strength lies in metro core and core transport equipment. Service focus also is complementary, he says.

"From a features and a know-how perspective, the majority of the Atrica applications and deployments and the knowledge base is focused on business service applications. Nokia Siemens has most of their deployments and know-how based on residential applications," Kukreja explains. "So if you look at those two, there's a strong complementary aspect to this deal."

The upcoming acquisition will thus enable Atrica to address residential applications and keep pace with network evolution, Kukreja believes. "At the end of the day, a lot of the global networks are going to be single networks that serve residential and business service applications," he says. "For a company like Atrica to address the residential piece alone requires us to partner with DSLAM vendors and GPON vendors and EPON vendors and try to come up with a solution. So it's not the fact that we can not support residential features in the network; it's just that to deliver residential solutions, it has to be a bigger company with a deeper set of product lines and systems engineering support, sales support, service professionals, and so on and so forth. And on that front, Nokia Siemens, on the service side alone they have 20,000 service professionals worldwide.

"What we are anticipating is that we'll have a bigger breadth, not only on the Carrier Ethernet front but integrating into DWDM, SONET, SDH, and other [applications] in the mobility space. But specifically in the Ethernet portfolio, we not only expect our features and our products to grow, but we also expect a lot of our feature/functionality and network management platform to expand into the [Nokia Siemens Networks] portfolio," he adds.

While details of the integration strategy are still being worked out, Atrica's 180 employees will become part of IP Transport division of Nokia Siemens Networks, Kukreja says.

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