Siemens to merge its communications units

Siemens will merge its mobile and fixed communications businesses into a single group called Siemens Communications.

Siemens will merge its mobile and fixed communications businesses into a single group called Siemens Communications.

Siemens Communications will have under its umbrella Siemens' wireless and wireline infrastructure and devices, as well as products for converged IP (Internet Protocol) data and voice networks, the company said.

To form the new group, Siemens will merge its Siemens ICN (Information and Communication Networks) and Siemens ICM (Information and Communication Mobile) groups.

The US businesses also will be merged into a new company, the name of which is not final, according to Suzanne Crow, director of corporate communications at Siemens ICN's US unit.

Andy Mattes, president and chief executive officer of ICN's US unit, will become president and chief executive officer of the merged US communications group.

Lothar Pauly, existing chief operating officer of the worldwide ICN group, will become president of the worldwide Siemens Communications group. The changes are set to become effective on 1 October.

The mergers are aimed at helping Siemens better serve customers in a changing industry, Mattes said.

"We're in a market environment where a lot of things are converging", including enterprise and carrier networks and wireless and wireline infrastructure, Mattes said.

A merged business will help Siemens use technologies such as software-based telecommunications "softswitches" for both wireless and wireline networks. Newly developed features could more easily be made available for different types of products, he said.

Mattes also sees those changes helping Siemens bolster its presence in the US, where it he said lacks the market awareness it has in Europe and some other regions.

"It will help us to address more customers with a broader product portfolio [and] solutions portfolio, and it will help us to gain market share. I'm convinced of that," Mattes said.

The changes at Siemens make sense in a world where wired and wireless technology is overlapping, according to analyst Frank Dzubeck, president of Communications Network Architects.

For example, whereas wireless once meant primarily mobile phone technology, it now includes wireless Lan hotspots and fixed wireless broadband systems, he said.

Other major suppliers, including Lucent Technologies also are seeking to use their resources across wireless and wireline categories.

Stephen Lawson writes for IDG News Service

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