BARCELONA—A lot of infrastructure vendors seem to be combining their efforts these days, so why not Alcatel-Lucent and NEC on LTE?
The companies said Tuesday they are forming a joint venture (JV) to focus on the development of LTE. The combination will bring together NEC´s relationship with NTT DoCoMo, which already selected NEC as a vendor for its LTE project, and Alcatel-Lucent´s relationship with Verizon Wireless, which has initiated an LTE trial program with the French-based company.
The two hope to accelerate the availability of next-generation solutions, with the idea that it´s best to combine efforts now when they´re still in the relatively early R&D stages, a spokesman said. No details have yet been announced with regard to a name for the JV.
The two companies plan to make their first commercial releases available in 2009.
In the future, the collaboration is expected to expand into end-to-end 3G CDMA-based solutions, as well as a range of advanced IP-based solutions, such as optical transmission, IP service routing and IMS-based communications services. Alcatel-Lucent and NEC also will investigate collaborating in developing IT solutions for service providers, such as service application solutions, together with the servers and storage products on which those solutions depend.
In other news, Alcatel-Lucent announced plans to develop and distribute a prepaid option to wireless operators for use with the BlackBerry platform. The option enables BlackBerry users to track their minutes and data they have used against the prepaid amount remaining on their account. Alcatel-Lucent and Research In Motion (RIM) already have distributed a solution in several countries, including China.
Last week, Alcatel-Lucent reported another quarterly loss and expects to incur a loss in the next quarter.