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Telecom Equipment Consolidation - Alcatel & Lucent Ericsson on Tuesday reached an agreement with Marconi Corporation of the U.K. to acquire its telecommunications equipment business for £1.2 billion ($2.1 billion.) Reports from Paris today indicate that Lucent and Alcatel are starting up talks that they last held in 2001 regarding the potential “merger of equals” between the two firms. Alcatel and Lucent Technologies on Sunday reached a definitive agreement to merge the two companies in a $13 billion deal that creates one of the world’s largest telecom equipment vendors but also has significant international implications. In a world of consolidating service providers, the consolidation of equipment makers that is serving a shrinking customer base is a logical move. The future of the telecom market will consist of a few large hardware vendors and a slew of software/service companies providing services. Alcatel and Lucent Technologies announced a group of teams that will lead both companies' integration and transition planning efforts following the merger that was announced early in April. Nokia Corp. and Siemens AG have “agreed to combine their telephone equipment units in a deal valued at roughly $31.6 billion.” Motorola, Inc. and Huawei Technologies, Co., Ltd. ("Huawei"), a leader in providing next generation telecommunications network solutions for operators around the world, today announced a new collaboration to bring an enhanced and extensive portfolio of UMTS and HSPA infrastructure equipment to customers worldwide. In the midst of its current multi-billion-dollar merger with Lucent Technologies, Alcatel will acquire the UMTS radio access assets of Nortel for $320 million, the telecom equipment giants announced on Friday. Even though Alcatel’s merger with Lucent Technologies won’t go before shareholders for approval until Thursday, the multi-billion-dollar deal has already cleared a vexing hurdle and is one step closer to completion. Harris Corporation will fold its Microwave Communications Division into publicly traded Stratex Networks to create the largest independent provider of wireless transmission network solutions, the two companies announced on Tuesday. Alcatel and Lucent Technologies passed a major milestone in completing their mega-merger to create the world’s largest telecom equipment manufacturing (TEM) company after shareholders in two separate special meetings approved the $11 billion deal on Thursday.

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