NEC eyeing acquisitions to complement strategy with govt education programs

Friday, May 27, 2011

Japanese telecoms equipment supplier NEC Corporation is considering Latin American acquisitions of tech companies that can complement NEC's work with government education programs, as well as companies that can boost its regional strategy, Carlos Martinangeli, CEO of NEC Argentina and COO for NEC Latin America, told BNamericas.

"We have a few candidates, whose names we cannot reveal [as] we are in a process of due diligence. The acquisitions will be on a country-by-country basis, but the strategy is regional," Martinangeli said, speaking on the sidelines of the Council of the Americas Latin American Cities Conference in Chilean capital Santiago.

NEC has been working with different Latin American governments in helping them implement their one laptop per child programs.

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In the first stage of these programs, the laptops were imported. Now entering the second stage, NEC is planning to use its Argentine development center to assemble the PCs and install software.

"Our message is that you can have the car, but if you don't have fuel you can't drive it. So what software are these cars going to have?" Martinangeli said.

"First is the software for content, which the education ministry has to provide and manage in each country. The other is the software for the digital classrooms where the pupils use the content. We're thinking of developing mini Facebooks - mini social networks for these classrooms," the executive added.

NEC has already used its Argentine development center for building transmitters for digital TV antennas and for digital fingerprint readers.

"We're not just screwing pieces together. We customize our products, and in the case of the fingerprint readers, we install the software, which is developed in Argentina. With the transmitters we implement the management software, which is also developed in Argentina," he said.

NEC Latin America has regional offices in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia and Mexico and offers integrated solutions that combine its two core competencies - network and IT solutions.