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Industry Experts Weigh in on Nokia-Microsoft Pact

Although Nokia and Microsoft (News - Alert) have teamed up, if the two groups adopt a closed system similar to Apple’s iPhone, telecom operators may be discouraged from offering phones from the new pact, according to Orange (News - Alert) executives.

Orange, Europe's fourth-largest operator in terms of revenue, possesses the ability to influence consumer phone selections because they buy the phones from the makers and decide how heavily to subsidize them.

"We want a mobile ecosystem that is open and allows our clients to use all the services they want, not closed systems that benefit one company or another," said Jean-Paul Cottet, Orange's chief of marketing and innovation, in a statement.

Last week, Finnish cell phone giant Nokia Corp. and software giant Microsoft formed an alliance to battle rivals like Apple and Google in the smartphone battle. Nokia Corp. announced last Friday that it plans to use Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Phone (News - Alert) software as the main platform for its smartphones in an effort to pull market share away from Apple's iPhone (News - Alert) and Android, Google's software for phones and tablets.

Orange is the first major operator to comment about the alliance.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, industry players have been predicting what impact the alliance will have in the mobile industry. However, many players, include Cottet, said it is a bit too early to consult the Magic Eight Ball as to how the pact will affect the industries and how operators’ mobile spending might change.

Cottet did express concern, however, about how Nokia's product launches would be affected this year.

"Nokia's new platform with Windows is planned for 2012, so what happens until then? We know what we sell of Nokia's lineup for the first half of this year, but we are wondering what they will propose to us to sell in the second half of the year,” he said.

Also at the Mobile World Congress, Cisco Systems (News - Alert) unveiled several new solutions geared at helping wireless service providers monetize and optimize their networks, particularly related video. Its new MOVE solution (which stands for monetization, optimization, and Videoscape Experience) was presented at the beginning of the 2011 GSMA Mobile World Congress. Current products under the MOVE umbrella include Cisco Mobile Videoscape, Cisco Service Provider WiFi and Cisco Adaptive Intelligent Routing (AIR).

Carrie Schmelkin is a Web Editor for TMCnet. Previously, she worked as Assistant Editor at the New Canaan Advertiser, a 102-year-old weekly newspaper, covering news and enhancing the publication's social media initiatives. Carrie holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and a bachelor's degree in English from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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