Nokia Siemens Networks aims for No.2 slot in U.S. market

Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:20pm EST
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By Leila Abboud

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Nokia-Siemens Networks is mounting an expansion drive in North America where the world's third-largest telecom equipment maker believes a spate of deal-making among mobile carriers will play out in its favor.

Chief Executive Rajeev Suri said deals by Japan's Softbank to buy 70 percent of Sprint Nextel Corp for $20 billion, and Deutsche Telekom's purchase of MetroPCS was an opportunity for NSN to grab new U.S. business.

"It's a long game. We have gotten from number 5 to number 3 in past few years, and now we will go target number 2," Suri said in an interview at Mobile World Congress.

NSN may soon see its ownership change because a 6-year old shareholder pact between partners Nokia and Siemens expires on April 1.

The German group is eager to exit but Nokia's priority is its handset business so it is unlikely to buy out Siemens.

Suri said it was not likely that Siemens and Nokia would reach a decision on the shareholder pact at its expiry date, but said the issue had no impact on the business.

"You have to ask them what they want to do," he said.

Nokia and Siemens declined to comment.   Continued...

The logo of the telecommunications services company Nokia Siemens Networks is pictured on top their office in Berlin October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch