Alcatel-Lucent and NEC will form a joint venture that will focus on Long Term Evolution, a major 4G technology, and the former plans to set up a research center in Shanghai for the 4G technology that will be compatible with China’s own 3G standard, the firms said yesterday.
LTE, a wireless broadband access solution, supports a download speed of about 200 megabits per second on handsets, 100 times faster than 3G, or third generation, technology. Users will be able to use LTE for high-definition video transfer and high-speed exchange. Under the joint venture, the two companies will pool their existing research & development resources and leverage expertise in key technologies such as Internet Protocol and multiple input/multiple output. More than 1,000 people will work for the venture. Both sides declined to reveal financial details.
“This strategic collaboration with NEC is driven by scale, time-to-market, and product excellence objectives and it will put us in a strong position to ride the next wave of transformation in the wireless industry,” Patricia Russo, chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent, said at a press briefing at the Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona.
NEC is strong in both IT and telecommunications and the cooperation will ensure the company leads in “advanced wireless services globally,” Kaoru Yano, NEC president, said at the briefing.
“This is a smart pairing that will help accelerate the availability of LTE by capitalizing on early market implementation that we expect to occur in Japan and North America,” said Philip Marshall, who heads technology research at Yankee Group, a US-based research firm.
Japan-based NTT DoCoMo has already selected NEC as a vendor for commercial service deployment of its Super 3G (LTE) project and US-based Verizon has selected Alcatel-Lucent as equipment vendor to initiate a LTE trial program.
Alcatel Shanghai Bell’s staff won’t be included in the venture as China adopts its own 3G technology, said Michel Rahier, Alcatel-Lucent’s carrier-business group head.
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