Telecom Timeout

May 13 2009   4:27PM GMT

More LTE vendors join the 4G party (but no cake for Nortel!)

WPeterson William Peterson Profile: WPeterson

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Lately, 4G is starting to seem like (relatively) easy money for everyone … or rather, everyone but poor, beleaguered Nortel, which is starting to remind me of Milton from Office Space, never getting a piece of the cake even as they watch it distributed all around them:

Nina: Now Milton, don’t be greedy, let’s pass it along and make sure everyone gets a piece.
Milton Waddams: Yeah, but last time I didn’t receive a piece. And I was told…
Nina: Just pass.
[while the cake passes Milton mutters – eventually everybody but Milton gets a piece]
Milton Waddams: [muttering] I could set the building on fire.

Today, Verizon announced that Giesecke & Devrient will be the supplier of the telco’s LTE smart cards, one step closer in bringing its planned 4G juggernaut to the masses. It will be a long, long time until we see LTE phones, of course, but already G&D and other suppliers are starting to see the 4G stimulus roll in.

Verizon also announced today Gemalto would offer the company’s OTA platform for LTE.

Meanwhile, FierceWireless notes a UBS report that claims AT&T has shortlisted Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, and Huawei for its LTE trial.

Unsurprisingly, Nortel didn’t make the cut, but it would have been headline news if they had at this point. Even back at this year’s Mobile World Conference, when Verizon announced Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson as its primary LTE partners, Nortel was considered a long shot, and their being passed over was more a sign of the times than a big deal.

And all this despite Nortel proudly boasting “leadership in 4G-enabled technologies“. Lately, that’s more and more looking like leadership for sale, if and when they can find a buyer: Nokia Siemens is trying to swoop in on the LTE action, the Wall Street Journal reports, while Alcatel-Lucent, NEC and ZTE have also been signaled as possible suitors.

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