Poor old Nortel. It's getting a kicking from journalists and analysts as it looks to be getting out of 4G networks altogether.

FierceBroadbandWireless reported that it's "preparing to exit the LTE infrastructure business", following a conference call in which Nortel's CEO, Mike Zafirovski, reportedly said the company's LTE business was likely to go the same way as its UMTS and WiMAX products. And its Metro Ethernet and optical business is also likely to go the same way.

Given that Nortel only quit making WiMax gear in June, and explained the move as a decision to concentrate on LTE, an LTE pull-out  might be harder to put a positive spin on. With WiMax, the company was quick to put up a hastily-promoted exec to explain that the company was still involved in the field - but it is now, essentially, selling someone else's products.

This time around, the explanation is more obvious, the company has cut its forecasts, and the shares plunged.

Operators aren't getting funding for new networks so easily now, so WiMax and LTE will both grow more slowly. As there's plenty of competition there, staying in the game would just mean Nortel had to fight harder and wait longer for a share of a shrinking pie.

Other people can tell me whether it's enough to help the company, but folding now might be the most sensible option: “Ever since Nortel exited the UMTS market it’s been next to impossible to see how investing in their own LTE base station would result in anything but huge losses," Patrick Donegan, Heavy Reading's senior wireless analyst, told his sister publication Unstrung.