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Cisco mulls buying Nokia

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Sci/Tech

Cisco Systems Inc. is considering buying the world's top mobile handset maker Nokia in a bid to gain its wireless infrastructure technology, the Business newspaper reported on Sunday.

The paper, which did not reveal the source of its information, said U.S.-based Cisco had traditionally concentrated on acquisitions of niche technology players, but its Chief Executive John Chambers is believed to be interested in merging with a wireless infrastructure company.

"Nokia has been identified as the most likely target," the paper said.

Cisco, the largest maker of Internet equipment, is worth around $123 billion, while Nokia's market value is around $71 billion.

The paper said Cisco's mainstay networking market was fast changing with the convergence of fixed-line and wireless networks, and Cisco needed a merger to acquire the technology to create intelligent wireless applications, which Finnish-based Nokia could provide.

Cisco was not immediately available for comment. A Nokia spokeswoman in Helsinki declined to comment.

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