By Emeka Aginam, who was in Paris
At the just concluded Alcatel-Lucent’s Annual Technology Symposium, held in Paris, France where the company discussed its strategy for growth, and showcased a broad range of Bell Labs innovations that will map the future of communications, Jean-Pierre Lartigue the Vice President Partner, Strategy and Corporate Development of Alcatel-Lucent in this encounter with Vanguard, spoke on the company’s vision for wireless IP networks and other unique portfolio of technologies and solutions. Excerpts:
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Jean-Pierre Lartigue. I am Vice President Partner, Strategy and Corporate Development at Alcatel-Lucent. You may have known that the formation of Alcatel-Lucent in 2006 created the world’s first truly global communications solutions provider, with the most complete end-to-end portfolio of solutions and services in the industry.
Alcatel-Lucent combined two entities, Alcatel and Lucent Technologies which shared a common lineage dating back to 1986. That was the year Alcatel’s parent company acquired ITT’s European telecom business. Nearly 60 years earlier, ITT had purchased most of AT&T’s manufacturing operations outside the United States. Lucent Technologies was spun off from AT&T.
There appears to be paradigm shift towards wireless technology. What is Alcatel-Lucent doing in this direction?
Yes, there is paradigm shift towards wireless technology. We are doing a lot in this direction which holds the future, as wireless networks services are rapidly trending toward high-bandwidth multimedia and peer-to-peer connectivity. This is changing the game. No other vendor knows this better than Alcatel-Lucent. For instance, in our latest Q1 2011 earnings we saw this trend continued strongly benefiting Alcatel-Lucent. This is as a result of our unique portfolio of technologies and solutions. Growth in our wireless services also continued the strong momentum we saw in 2010, booming in Q1 by more than 36% from the year-ago quarter.
While Alcatel-Lucent’s strength in 2G, 3G and LTE contributed to this strong revenue growth, the star of the show, at least in industry solution was LightRadio, our new architecture for mobile and broadband networks. Our market growth and innovation success is thanks in part to our unique approach, that we call Wireless
All Around: we look at wireless networks from every direction. We have transformed many of the world’s biggest networks to meet the challenges of the world’s largest wireless and wireline broadband data providers for more than a decade. As they have faced the challenges of providing multimedia, real-time services, our experience in IP service-aware management, edge routing, broadband, wireless access and packet transport become paramount. Moreover, companion transformation and optimization services become critical. With more than 60 multimedia networks sold, 70 IP transformations performed, more than 350 wireless networks sold and deployed, and nearly a quarter billion broadband access lines deployed, the world’s largest service providers have cause to choose Alcatel-Lucent for their wireless IP deployments.
What are the Alcatel-Lucent’s vision for wireless IP networks?
That is an interesting question. While, building upon our high leverage network architecture, Alcatel-Lucent has distilled our best practices into a new vision for high-bandwidth, data-centric wireless IP networks. Service providers are experiencing strong demand for new data services, leading to increased demand for improved quality of service and quality of experience. As the wireless data explosion continues, operators need to evolve and update their wireless networks to an all-IP paradigm. For instance, the Alcatel-Lucent end-to-end LTE solution lowers the total cost of ownership, enables new business models and redefines the end-user experience. lightRadio, Small Cells and more globally Wireless IP expand these benefits.
Are you familiar with emerging markets?
Yes, we are quite aware of the opportunity in emerging markets and are fostering a lot of activities in consequence. It is one of the key areas where we are deploying our various innovation products and services. We have a very active presence in Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia. In Africa, for example in Nigeria or South Africa), we have a very strong business in GSM and 3G. It has globally been a growing market for us. We are forcefully working to improve these areas with state of the art mobile data infrastructure.
What is your relationship with telecom players in Nigeria?
We provide almost all Alcatel-Lucent’s portfolio including managed services and Glo, Etisalat and MTN are amongst our customers benefiting from our strong presence in Nigeria. We are investing heavily in Nigeria and we are eager to penetrate to other potential customers such as Airtel, CDMA operators, ISPs…etc. I see Nigerian market as one of the biggest market in Africa… It is our resolve to make sure that we make a big impact in the lives of Nigerians. The emerging markets face several challenges. One of them is to seek a strategy of total coverage. The other is to develop broadband capabilities. We want to make sure that operators provide the best quality of experience and that all get access to their network.
“Broadband for all” is our approach to bring all Broadband access capabilities together to everyone. Thus we are combining DSL, FTTH and Wireless access offering to address low cost coverage. We are also having specific focus on low-energy green Wireless solutions, powered with alternative energies in order to reach out low-dense rural areas. As a result, we have seen many emerging markets economies boosted by their “Broadband for All” deployments.
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