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Tech-Friendly: Microsoft to buy Nokia handsets; Verizon, Vodaphone agree on $130 billion deal

September 4, 2013

By Paul Gorski

There are two big stories in the wireless communication news this week: the Verizon/Vodaphone buyout and Microsoft’s plan to acquire Nokia’s mobile phone business. I don’t believe either transaction will affect the local mobile wireless market significantly.

Verizon Wireless was created as a subsidiary of Verizon Communications in April 2000 from the merger of GTE Wireless, Bell Atlantic and Vodaphone cellular and paging services. At the time, it was agreed Vodaphone would own 45 percent of Verizon Wireless. Under this current deal, Verizon Communications will buy out Vodaphone’s share for $130 billion, owning 100 percent of Verizon Wireless.

Since Verizon Communications is simply consolidating ownership of Verizon Wireless, and not buying another wireless company, users should see little change in local Verizon Wireless operations. This deal should close in 2014.

Microsoft has decided to play catch-up in the mobile wireless market by announcing its intent to acquire Nokia’s smartphone business for $7.2 billion. Nokia is a major Windows mobile phone manufacturer. This deal is also expected to close in 2014.

Given that Android and iOS phones dominate the smartphone market, Microsoft’s move may be too little too late for it to regain lost mobile OS market share. Again, despite the press this story may get, I see little impact on the local smartphone and mobile wireless markets.

Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple IIe.

From the Sept. 4-10, 2013, issue

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