Merger talks between wireless carriers Sprint Corp. and Nextel Communications Inc. aren't sounding very jolly to one equipment supplier: Motorola Inc. \nFor years, the Schaumburg, Illinois, provider of wireless products and infrastructure equipment has enjoyed an almost exclusive relationship with Nextel -- supplying networking equipment and handsets to the wireless carrier. That advantageous agreement would end if Nextel joins forces with Sprint, industry experts say. \nBy contrast, a merger would likely provide a boost to Sprint's suppliers: Qualcomm Inc., Lucent Technologies Inc., Nortel Networks Corp. and handset makers such as Samsung, Audiovox Corp. and others. \nThe cause for the unequal distribution is a likely technology switch for Nextel, the smallest of the national wireless carriers. The Reston, Virginia, company has been something of a technology maverick, using a unique iDEN standard for its network and proprietary "push to talk" service. Sprint, on the other hand, has been running its network on CDMA -- the same standard that Verizon Wireless users. \nIn order for the two companies' networks to work with one another, it would be easier for Nextel to switch to CDMA rather than the other way around, experts said. Sprint a has large nationwide network that would cost a lot to convert or rebuild. \nA Sprint conversion would be like "somebody wearing too many colors ... too many technologies are not a good thing," said Rick Black, an analyst at Blaylock & Partners. \nAdding to the likelihood that Nextel will convert to CDMA is the fact that the company has already been looking into switching its platform technology. Nextel has been testing -- with Motorola -- a new wireless standard based on CDMA. The company has also been testing a unique technology, called OFDM, with New Jersey-based startup Flarion Technologies. \n"Obviously, there is still lots of uncertainty about how they will go through consolidation," said Bill Choi, said an analyst at Kaufman Brothers. A Nextel CDMA conversion would provide a windfall to whatever company gets to supply the technology -- whether that's Motorola, Lucent, Nortel or whoever. \nAn area with more certain impact for suppliers if Sprint and Nextel merge is handsets. Motorola is currently the sole handset provider to Nextel -- and the handsets it does sell to the carrier are also its most profitable. Sprint buys phones from a variety of makers including Motorola, but also Samsung, Audiovox Corp. and others. \nMotorola will likely "wrangle themselves good market share" with a combined company, but it wouldn't be the same kind of advantage it's seen in the past, Choi said. Meanwhile, a merger means that Sprint's phone providers would be able to get business from a customer who was previously off-limits. \nBut the biggest winner of the combination would be Qualcomm, which already licenses and makes chips using CDMA technology to Sprint. Qualcomm has also been working with Nextel for the past two years on developing a new push-to-talk technology, QChat, that can work on a CDMA platform. \nA merger would likely mean that Qualcomm "could collect royalties on additional CDMA handset sales and sell most of the chipsets for handset sales," Wojtek Uzdelewicz, a Bear Stearns analyst, wrote in a note.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists