Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hitachi acquires Nortel's software assets related to next-gen mobile communication systems

NEW YORK, USA: Hitachi Ltd has acquired the next generation packet core network components, including software products that support the transfer of data over existing wireless networks and the next generation of wireless communications technology, from Nortel Networks Ltd, Nortel Networks Inc. and Nortel Networks Technology Corp. for a total of $10 million.

This acquisition relates to Hitachi’s development of Evolved Packet Core (EPC) for Long Term Evolution (LTE) network equipment. LTE is a new next-generation mobile communications system that provides high performance air interface (100Mbit/s) for cellular mobile phones.

The assets include the Next Generation Serving GPRS Support Node on Advance Telecommuting Architecture (ATCA), the Next Generation Gateway GPRS Support Node on ATCA, the Mobility Manager Element on ATCA, the AGW Serving Gateway on ATCA, the AGW Packet Data Gateway on ATCA, and the Network Element Manager associated with each, as well as relevant non-patent intellectual property, equipment, other related tangible assets, a non-exclusive license of certain relevant patents and other intellectual property.

With demand in the LTE market expected to expand worldwide going forward, Hitachi has decided to conduct this acquisition in order to quickly enter the LTE field on a global basis.

Demand continues to grow for broadband-intensive communications in the mobile communications field, including mobile phones and data card devices for PCs. End user demand is driven by rapidly multiplying applications, including growing needs for large-capacity data-file transfers, music and video streaming services, and online games. In response to these needs, LTE has been undergoing standardization by 3GPP, a standard-setting body for mobile communication systems. In March 2009, the LTE standard was established.

Key elements of the Hitachi EPC solution are the associated Mobility Management Entity (MME), Serving Gateway and PDN Gateway. This product offering can also deliver the ability to support 2G and 3G subscribers with integrated Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) and Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) functionality. This capability will facilitate the economical migration to 4G technology.

In December 2008, Hitachi was selected as a vendor of core LTE network equipment by KDDI Corp., and has been moving forward with development activities. In May 2009, Hitachi established a new Mobile Development Center within its US subsidiary Hitachi Communication Technologies America Inc. to reinforce its design and development activities in the area of next-generation mobile communication systems.

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