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The acquisition of Nortel's half of LG-Nortel by Ericsson could see the company in Australia expanding from small to medium enterprise telephony markets into large enterprise, carriers and possibly vying for NBN Co's PON contracts.

When the deal was announced in April, its primary aim appeared to be to give Ericsson an entry into the South Korean wireless infrastructure market. - Ericsson had exited the enterprise telephony market only two years earlier by selling its business to Aastra.

Aria Technologies is the exclusive Australian distributor of LG-Nortel's enterprise telephony products and managing director Rob Pierce told iTWire in April that he believed the rebranding would help the products in Australia.

This week marketing manager Chris Karagiannis told iTWire that the acquisition could see telephony and unified comms products targeted at larger organisations than at present, and a move by the company into the carrier networking market.

LG-Nortel, and its products, will be rebranded LG-Ericsson and Karagiannis said: "We think branding-wise it will be very good for us as our channel starts playing in the large enterprise space where the Ericsson brand is well respected."

He explained that the current LG-Nortel product range peaked at 1200 users but that Aria was able to address the market for up to 10,000 users with the ShoreTel product range, which it took on about 18 months ago.

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"There have been discussions [with LG-Ericsson] about new products for the enterprise space that will be heavily influenced by Ericsson and we expect those early to mid 2011'¦We are looking at something for between 3000 and 5000 users; and our ShoreTel product is being scoped to go to 20,000 users."

Karagiannis added: "From our initial discussion with the LG part of the JV in Korea we believe Ericsson will definitely influence products, particularly those for the large enterprise space. Also we believe the people Ericsson have appointed to the board are very, very senior so they are looking at taking an active role in the JV."

Aria is the exclusive Australian distributor of LG-Ericsson enterprise telephony products in Australia, but the company's carrier switching products are not represented.

"It will be business as usual: LG-Ericsson will retain its headquarters in Seoul and representation will be by exclusive distributors such as ourselves. There has been no indication that they plan to set up a presence here," Karagiannis said.

He said there had been no firm indications on change of strategy, "but I know they are very interested in having discussions with carriers on the backbone part of the business, and with the strength of the Ericsson brand in Telstra and other carriers that could be a possibility."

He added: "We have representatives from LG-Ericsson coming out in about two weeks time and we wil have more information after that."

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LG-Ericsson is also active in the FTTx market, and if it chose to bring this product set to Australia could become a contender for NBN contracts. LG-Nortel announced in February a move into the European FTTx market

LG-Nortel formed partnerships with Profiber (in the Czech Republic and Slovakia), Telindus (in the Netherlands) and Link SA (Greece and Cyprus) to promote its "innovative range of WDM-PON fibre-to-the-business/home/base station (FTTx) solutions."

LG-Nortel claimed that its Ethernet Access 1100 series was "the first commercially available WDM-PON platform" and said it already won contracts for deployment with Agder Broadband in Norway and UNET in the Netherlands.

The company said: "LG-Nortel's Ethernet Access WDM-PON product line, transponder (SpeedLight16 and TurboLight16) customer premises equipment, and ethernet access service terminal splitter work with LG-Nortel's full range of optical service delivery and management tools to provide a complete FTTx solution for service providers."

Ericsson Australia was not presently able to provide any information on the local activities of the JV.

 

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