HomeInsightsLTE not a cost saving move insists Alcatel-Lucent

    LTE not a cost saving move insists Alcatel-Lucent


    Alcatel-Lucent's partnership with NEC to form a joint venture to produce a single product line of LTE products is not a cost-saving move, Paul Larbey, head of Alcatel-Lucent's LTE business, has said.

    "Let's be quite clear about this – this is an offensive move on our part, and it's not about a sales channel partnership. By pooling our resources and knowledge we will produce a single product line that each group will then be individually responsible for selling," he said.

    Larbey said that each group complements each other, because they have strengths in different geographic areas. Asked if this meant they would not compete against each other for the same contracts, Larbey reiterated the benefits of the combined approach to developing a single product.

    "The difference from Evolium (Alcatel-Lucent's 2.5 and 3G partnership with Fujitsu) is that we have integrated a single R&D team on a single product. There's also a difference in timing, Evolium was late in coming to the market and suffered in terms of contracts. But we have been working on this jv for the past six months, working very closely together and have put a lot of effort into it."

    The market for LTE will be "very competitive" Larbey said. "We know that, and that's one reason why we have worked on the jv, to make sure we have the scale and volume early, because getting significant market share early will be very important."

    Alcatel-Lucent is involved already in Verizon's LTE plans, and Larbey said Alcatel-Lucent would have a "raft" of LTE field and customer trials going ahead in Western Europe as well as other areas.

    In terms of how big the actual market opportunity is for LTE, he thought operators would deploy in different use cases, with one example of a mature operator with deep HSPA coverage adding extra capacity to areas such as sports stadia, music venues, and metro zones. Other operators might look for macro coverage, leap-frogging investment in WCDMA and HSPA networks. Spectrum would play a part too, with the ability to deploy in re-farmed 900 and 1800MHz wavelengths especially important.