The game has been up for Marconi since April, when it missed out on a share of the work to build BT’s 21st-century network (21CN). This ¬£10 billion project is the biggest honeypot in the telecoms-equipment industry. It is important not just because of its size but because it will be the proving ground for the next generation of technology.
Although BT is set to be the first big telecoms group to switch entirely to a so-called IP network, every other international telco is planning to follow in its wake. Marconi was counting on the support of its most important customer. It did not receive it, and its shares almost halved in a day.
See also: China’s Huawei declines to comment on Marconi takeover rumors from The Forbes.