**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q4 2012.**
Channel partners selling Lightower Fiber and Sidera Networks services can expect business as usual until the pending merger closes. Even then, Sidera CEO Mike Sicoli said he does not know of any details that would affect master agents and VARs.
"I'm not aware of any changes being discussed," he said.
After all, partners – and their customers – will have access to a "much broader network, a stronger player in the industry that's more strategically relevant with more resources to fight the good fight." The deal, then, is positive for customers, said Sicoli.
"And if it's positive for customers, it's positive for channel partners."
The reported $2 billion merger was announced on Thursday morning; as a result, it was too early for Sicoli to offer specifics about any changes the combined Lightower-Sidera channel program might undergo. Besides, Sicoli will not remain with the company after the transaction is complete, as Lightower CEO Rob Shanahan will lead the merged entities.
"There was a desire on both sides for me to stay on in some capacity but it didn't make sense," said Sicoli. "Rob's a very talented leader, very experienced. I think he'll do a great job."
There likely will be other job cuts as well, Sicoli said, but information won't be available for another three or four months.
The Lightower-Sidera union comes as dark fiber, Ethernet, private networks, colocation and similar products become more in-demand thanks to the rise of bandwidth-intensive services including mobile video and cloud computing. Sicoli said he and Shanahan have talked for years about joining their companies – Sidera has been a Lightower customer for some time – but it wasn't until Berkshire Partners decided to invest that such a move made sense.