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Nortel to offload GSM business

Nortel, the fading star of the telecoms world, said late Wednesday it is planning to sell off its GSM and GSM-R (GSM for railways) assets via an open auction process.

The business transaction will also include GSM related patents and non-exclusive licenses to other relevant patents.

Subject to approval of the bidding procedures filed with the US and Canadian courts, qualified bidders will be required to submit offers for the assets by November 5, 2009. The auction itself is scheduled for November 9.

Earlier this month the Nortel fire sale continued with the announcement of the auction of its Carrier Networks Packet Core assets. The Packet Core Assets consist of software to support the transfer of data over existing wireless networks and the next generation of wireless communications technology, including relevant non-patent intellectual property. The deal will however include a non-exclusive license of relevant patent intellectual property.

Also in September, enterprise networking firm Avaya emerged as the winning bidder for Nortel’s own corporate communications unit, with an offer of close to $1bn.

In early August, Mike Zafirovski, president and CEO of Nortel announced his resignation from the once mighty firm, effective immediately. After overseeing the break up of much of the business, Zafirovski said he “believes the company has reached a natural transition point”. The company’s board of directors has also been reduced from nine to three, with the business now considered stable.

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