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3GSM Technology roadmaps for the future Nokia and Siemens Networks were laid out to delegates attending the 3GSM Conference on Monday.

The €20bn equal-share joint venture aims to combine the networking businesses of Nokia and Siemens to compete more effectively against Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent in the telecoms kit business.

The launch of the joint venture was pushed back in December - from January to March 2007 - as the result of a corruption probe against executives at Siemens Networks over accusations that bribes were offered to secure business in Nigeria in the 1990s.

Nokia Siemens Networks execs omitted mention of this during a press conference at 3GSM but said the joint venture was on track to launch in the first quarter of 2007.

Ahead of this launch, execs of the future Nokia Siemens Networks laid out a product roadmap that placed a strong emphasis on IP-based technologies. Once merged, the combined firm has more than 300 fixed and 300 mobile clients in more than 100 countries. It is seeking to balance a desire to harmonise its product portfolio, culling weaker products in certain market segments, against the need to avoid upsetting its strong installed customer base.

Simon Beresford-Wylie, Nokia Siemens Networks chief exec designate, described the combos product portfolio as moving from a "telecoms to internet rhythm".

"In the past, we misunderstood that there is only one internet and as a result didn't make mobile services easy to use. Delivering services and content primarily from the internet will by central to our strategy," Beresford-Wylie said, adding that the supplier intended to be either first or second in every market it played in.

Nokia Siemens Networks plans to maintain six business units: Radio Access, Service Core and Applications, Operation Support Systems, Broadband Access, IP/Transport, and Services. Key components of the proposed plan include the continued development of GSM/EDGE radio and WCDMA/HSPA (high speed mobile data) Node Bs, acknowledging the large installed bases of both Nokia and Siemens in these areas, plus the migration to a common Radio Network Controller (RNC) that will support both installed bases. This radio portfolio will be complemented by Nokia's mobile WiMAX and Siemens' fixed WiMAX products.

Nokia Siemens Networks aims to merge competing products from the two parent firms in emerging technology areas including IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), mobile and fixed softswitches, Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC), Intelligent Networks (IN), Mobile TV (DVB-H) and IPTV, and converged charging.

It also plans to market a common microwave transport offering and a single IP DSLAM product, while maintaining all other IP/Transport and Broadband Access products without change. Nokia NetAct technology has been selected at the preferred management platform for the two firms. ®

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