Uncommon Wisdom

Jul 14 2009   1:04PM GMT

Carrier “procurement zone” strategies may lead to vendor partnerships

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

AT&T is refining its list of “domains” for procurement, and its new number (reported by UBS and others to be around eight) is more in line with the average range we got from our survey of carriers last month. The new system isn’t supposed to put smaller vendors at risk, but it’s pretty clear from the most recent commentary we’ve heard from Tier Ones that the pressure will be on vendors to create partnerships or even M&As to build enough mass to be convincing in key areas, or to insure they have some representation in some of the zones.

UBS reports that NSN is likely to be a zone player, as well as Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, and Ericsson. We think that Cisco, in particular, may be thinking about measures to expand its footprint among the zones because most of the big players have broad portfolios and thus have a hope of representation in several zones.

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