The road ahead is not as clear cut as people would like to make it. Case in point is Nortel. The 3GPP type assets were sold to Nokia Siemens Networks
Previously the WiMAX side of the shop was scuttled.
So what does this mean for the rest of Nortel
Candidly I am not sure.
They have other assets they sell to carriers, but I would consider it more marginal and not specifically wireless. Metro Ethernet, Call Center Solutions including directory, etc. I would not be surprised if those assets also ended up in other companies.
The part of the company that is enterprised focused is surely in trouble to and acquiring that asset would be best to those who have a weakness in call center capabilities.
Actually these assets make sense for an Asian buyer. Although I could make a case for two others.
I can always make the case for Cisco because some of the best assets are in research and I would like to see some people land in the right place.
As Nortel was failing its R&D was still amazing.
So what is the lesson for the rest of us? I would submit that 4G is not a simple migration. Using the same technologies as the Internet and consumer wireless requires a massive rethink of what a carriers assets are and what they need.
Architectually it looks the same, but in the delivery of services and applications its a new ball game. Thats been the focus of my travels lately and the speakers that are coming to 4GWE
in LA on Sept 1-3 are also focused on the nature of the future.
Nortel had many redeeming qualities and as the assets get integrated natural selection will evolve into something new.