Juniper, Nokia hooking up?

Juniper's market capitalisation is just under $US14 billion

Nokia is reportedly considering acquiring Juniper Networks and combining it with its Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) business to increase US service provider market penetration.

Citing Germany's Manager Magazin Online, Reuters this week reported that NSN Chief Executive Rajeev Suri traveled to the United States late last year to discuss with Juniper's management closer cooperation and a possible merger that would strengthen NSN's U.S. business. Manager Magazin Online did not identify its sources, according to Reuters.

+ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Juniper should reevaluate switching, security products investor says +

Nokia, NSN and Juniper declined to comment on the report, Reuters states, adding that another unidentified source "familiar with NSN's strategy" said no such deal was imminent. Network World sources, however, say Juniper and NSN are planning a joint announcement at next week's Mobile World Congress conference, but it is unclear what it involves.

Juniper declined comment on the MWC announcement. NSN and Juniper have had a strategic alliance for a while to jointly develop and sell network equipment to carriers.

Sources also say there are rumors internally at Juniper that the company may be looking to divest its enterprise campus and branch product portfolio to better align the company with NSN's service provider focus. Juniper declined comment on this as well.

Juniper's market capitalization is just under $14 billion.

Nokia is selling its Devices & Services business to Microsoft for $7.4 billion, which would then make NSN Nokia's primary business. The sale to Microsoft is expected to close next month.

Stephen Elop, executive vice president of Nokia Devices & Services, is formerly CEO of Nokia. Before that, he was COO of Juniper.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

Read more about anti-malware in Network World's Anti-malware section.

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