GPT in SDH fear

GPT in SDH fear
Svetlana Josifovska and Richard Wilson Business managers at telecoms manufacturer GPT are concerned about the possible impact on international business should its German parent Siemens sell its stake in the company to GEC. Recent suggestions that GEC is negotiating to take full control of GPT by acquiring Siemens’ 40 per cent stakeholding has raised strategic issues over the future of joint-product offerings between GPT and Siemens, most notably the successful SDH fibre optic transmissions systems. An added complication is that the SDH portfolio of products is marketed jointly around the world. “It’s something we keep discussing. GPT being a small player relies on the muscle of Siemens to get into territories. Siemens is well-known and present in many territories. If you take the Siemens element out, what happens to our markets? It’s a good question,” said one senior manager at GPT Public Networks. Some argue that GPT secured large orders through Siemens’ support, listing the Telstra deal in Australia and the more recent order from Telecom Italia as examples. The Telecom Italia contract was won by Italtel which is partly owned by Siemens. For GPT this ?90m order is the largest single SDH order to date. International sales director, Peter Warn, played down the reliance on Siemens. “Sales we have through Siemens are around 20 per cent. It’s a very small part ,” he said. However, major SDH contracts in China, Saudia Arabia and Hong Kong were secured through joint sales and marketing efforts of both companies. So successful is the combined resources of GPT and Siemens that they claim over 30 per cent of the world SDH market. The strength of the SDH collaboration is that GPT’s 50 and 155Mbit/s multiplexers can be offered together with 2.5Gbit/s line systems supplied by its parent Siemens. Still, uncertainty over GPT’s future ownership continues to worry elements of the company’s staff who have not been reassured by recent, unconfirmed rumours that Siemens and not GEC will take full control of GPT. Conflicting reports suggest that GEC may be raising funds for a major corporate transaction.


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