Siemens denies sale of U.S. optical and access business

ITworld.com |  Networking

Siemens AG is not planning to sell its loss-making broadband access and optical-networking units in the U.S. In response to media reports, Andreas Fischer, a company spokesman at the Siemens division Information and Communication Networks in Munich, said that both units "are being reintegrated into the group's U.S. operations; they are not being sold."

Last week Siemens sold Unisphere Networks Inc., its Westford, Massachusetts, Internet routing company, to Juniper Networks Inc., in Sunnyvale, California. Since then analysts have been speculating that the German electronics and telecommunication giant will shed other loss-making units in the U.S. to stem the flow of red ink in the company.

"There's been plenty of speculation over the past few days by analysts and others that we will be selling more of our U.S. business units," Fischer said. "We are reorganizing not selling."

According to Fischer, the independent optical-networking subsidiary Optisphere Networks Inc., based in Boca Raton, Florida, and Efficient Networks Inc., in Dallas, are being integrated into the Siemens network holding company, Siemens Information and Information Networks Inc., in Boca Raton.

Unisphere, which achieved a foothold in the highly competitive U.S. long-haul transmission market, is now focusing on the metropolitan market. Both sectors, however, have been hit hard by the economic downturn and the exodus of service providers.

Thomas Ganswindt, chairman of the ICN division, said after the Unisphere divestment that Siemens will remain focused on voice-centric technologies, such as soft switches and voice gateways, as well as broadband access and optical networking.

Ganswindt plans to outline the division's strategy at a briefing in Berlin on Tuesday.

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