On Monday, Nokia Siemens Networks agreed to sell off its optical networking unit, one of last remaining businesses outside of its newfound 4G focus. Now on Wednesday, NSN revealed it was shedding another, handing its business support systems (BSS) unit over to carrier billing shop Redknee for a cool €40 million ($52 million USD).
NSN’s goal is to transform itself from a bloated multi-platform multi-technology telecom vendor into a lean, mean mobile broadband machine. Last year, the joint venture between Nokia and Siemens started selling off any business non-core to its 4G ambitions and announced plans to shed 17,000 employees, a quarter of its workforce. It started by coughing up its backhaul and wireline access units, and it even dumped the WiMAX business it inherited form Motorola. While WiMAX is technically 4G, NSN is focusing solely on LTE.
The BSS unit produces software and hardware carriers use to handle all of the complex business operations of running a huge network with millions of customers, ranging from real-time charging for service to fielding customer complaint tickets. Redknee is a specialist in such technology and is likely acquiring NSN’s business to gain its 130 carrier customers. About 1,200 NSN employees will transfer over to Redknee, primarily in Germany, India and Poland.
As we noted Monday, NSN’s obsession with LTE seems to paying off. In the last year, its won some key Asian contracts, and last quarter it posted record profits.