Alca-Lu in trouble with AT&T? No WiMAX worries though

9 Oct 2007

A report from The Financial Times suggests that French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent could be set to lose out on its part of a major 3G equipment contract with AT&T in the US. The cellco split its 3G network contract between three suppliers in 2004; Ericsson won a USD900 million deal, Alcatel-Lucent won a contract worth USD700 million, while Siemens was awarded contracts totalling USD400 million. It is now rumoured, however, that AT&T is looking to give much of Alcatel-Lucent’s share of the project to Ericsson, although it will not be dropped altogether. Alcatel-Lucent has responded to the reports saying: ‘We continue to be a critical WCDMA supplier to AT&T … Our market share has remained relatively stable and we continue to work to meet our commitments to maintain our market share. To speculate otherwise is both inaccurate and misleading.’ Alcatel merged with Lucent last year but has struggled to cope with the integration of the two firms.

Separately, Alcatel-Lucent is affirming that it is having no problems in the mobile WiMAX market. The vendor says it has won 15 commercial deployment contracts for 802.16e technology, with deals also in place for more than 70 pilot networks and field trials. It says it is now has more mobile WIMAX contracts than any other vendor, converting trial rollouts to full commercial contracts at a rate of two per month for the last six months. ‘We are now working on WiMAX deployments with a range of fixed, mobile and convergence-minded greenfield operators, in both established and high-growth markets worldwide,’ says Karim El Naggar, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s WiMAX activities.

United States, Alcatel-Lucent, AT&T, Ericsson