We’re number one in 3G, says Alcatel man
Alcatel’s siging of a global framework agreement with Vodafone can be attributed to its increased scale, according to Marc Rouanne, president of Alcatel’s mobile division, and is evidence the company is now a serious global player in mobile infrastructure.
As there is no direct revenue against this announcement, perhaps it might be fashionably cynical to say that as yet the deal is not that significant. But Rouanne has told Mobile Europe that the point is that Alcatel is now clearly regarded as a serious player in mobile by Vodafone, and that the agreement would facilitate future business.
“There are four global radio suppliers and we are going to be one more, and that at a time when the previous ones are merging or disappearing,” Rouanne said.
“The global framework agreement is recognition that we are a global player,” Rouanne added. “The key questions we were asked by Tier One providers like Vodafone is what was our future, would we be around in 10 to 15 years, and that was especially true in mobile. Vodafone was not convinced we had the critical size in mobile.”
The second clincher for Alcatel, Rouanne said, was the scope of Alcatel’s reach in access technologies – from DSL and WiMax to CDMA and UMTS 3G. Both the scope and the scale of Alcatel’s business have been changed by the (not yet completed) Lucent merger and Alcatel’s acquisition of Nortel’s UMTS business, Rouanne said.
It was that change of scope and scale that had convinced Vodafone to add Alcatel to its list of reference companies, Rouanne said. Clearly the addition of Nortel, which is an existing Vodafone partner, had also heped greatly.
Not being on the list had previously cost Alcatel opportunities, because even though certain in-country operations might have wanted to work with Alcatel, they were prevented from doing so as Alcatel was not a global Vodfaone reference customer.
Rouanne said that with Lucent and Nortel under its belt, the company would be number one in 3G globally, number three in UMTS and number one in CDMA. The company also had “technology leadership” in WiMax, he said.