Alcatel-Lucent to Help Carriers Open Up

Alcatel-Lucent is introducing software and services to enable it to be the bridge between carriers and applications developers. Its hope is to help open up the proprietary telecommunications world to apps companies while helping carriers make money off their pipes.

Like That Little Engine, Nokia Siemens Thinks It Can Make It

engineimage-300x277Nokia Siemens, a telecommunications equipment joint venture, plans to lay off up to 5,700 employees, or 7-9 percent of its work force, in order to cut about $740 million in costs. The company, which is a joint venture between Siemens (s si) and cell phone maker Nokia (s nok), will also whittle down to three business units from five. But you wouldn’t really get it after reading the headline on its press release which states, “Nokia Siemens Networks Targets Improved Financial Performance, Return to Growth.” Read More about Like That Little Engine, Nokia Siemens Thinks It Can Make It

Qwest Sees 100 Gbps in Its (Long Haul) Future

qlogoQwest (s q) today said it has purchased gear from Alcatel-Lucent (s alu) that will one day allow its long-haul network to achieve speeds of 100Gbps.  Since the company decided last June to keep its long-haul network, the upgrades were part of a continued and necessary investment in greater speeds and capacity, Qwest CTO Pieter Poll said. However, before folks get too excited, the new equipment makes the Qwest backbone network 100Gbps-ready, rather than delivering those speeds anytime soon. Current long haul networks are delivering about 40Gbps.
Just for fun, the Qwest release offers examples of how fast a 100Gbps network can transfer data: Read More about Qwest Sees 100 Gbps in Its (Long Haul) Future

Germans Get Cheaper Cell Phone Service In Exchange for Ads

AL_logo_205pxAlcatel-Lucent (s alu) said today that it’s begun providing German carrier E-Plus with equipment that inserts advertisements onto mobile devices based on demographic information provided by a subsidiary of the carrier. Customers opt in to the service and in exchange get extra minutes or texts on their cell phone plans. Gettings, the E-Plus subsidiary collecting the information and delivering the ads, offers plans that send between 10-25 ads per week. When customers sign up for the program they are asked to indicate via a checklist topics that interest them so they are subsequently delivered relevant pitches. [digg=]

Will this become a high-quality targeted advertising effort similar to the ads delivered by Google (s goog) based on search, or will this sort of advertising instead remind users of the experience offered back in the late 90s when ISPs such as NetZero offered free dial-up in exchange for irritating pitches?  Read More about Germans Get Cheaper Cell Phone Service In Exchange for Ads

Global Cell Phone Growth Slowed During Q1

Global revenue growth from mobile phone subscriptions has slowed, according to data released today by research firm Telegeography. The firm notes that the top 20 global service providers generated $251 billion during the first three months of 2009, which was only up 3 percent from the same period last year. Part of the slowed growth was related to market saturation, but Telegeography said it was also tied to the lousy economy, which depressed demand.

India and China, which together accounted for 48 percent of the global growth, were bright spots on the world stage. The U.S. and Canada saw only 2 percent growth, however the U.S. did add 1 million broadband subscribers, demonstrating how wireless data can offer some growth for a carrier in saturated markets. Worldwide broadband subscriber additions during the quarter came in at 14 million. Read More about Global Cell Phone Growth Slowed During Q1

Qualcomm May Slow Verizon’s LTE Plans

Verizon (s VZ) has been aggressively pushing its fourth generation wireless network plans, which would bring Long Term Evolution, or LTE, to 20-35 markets by the end of 2010. But in the interconnected world of telecommunications, the desires of a vendor can be waylaid if all the pieces of the puzzle aren’t there in time. And for Verizon, Qualcomm’s (s QCOM) pieces may be showing up late. Its LTE chips for data cards won’t be generally available until the second half of next year, and chips for handsets might not be available until well into 2011, according to an industry analyst. Read More about Qualcomm May Slow Verizon’s LTE Plans

GigaOM Spring Cleaning: Motorola and Others Hit the Dustbin

We’re no rating agency here at GigaOM, but Om and I got together this week to figure out our coverage priorities for the coming months — let’s call it a spring cleaning — and decided there are five companies that we’re just not going to spend a lot of time on anymore. Nortel (S NT) , AMD (s AMD), Motorola (s MOT), Vonage (s VG) and Alcatel-Lucent (s ALU) are getting the boot.
We’re making room for five companies that we think deserve a little more attention and/or deeper scrutiny: Qualcomm (s QCOM), MetroPCS (s PCS), Huawei, Juniper Networks (s JNPR) and Clearwire (s CLWR). All but Huawei are public companies, but Huawei is big enough to matter. This isn’t to say there aren’t tens of other companies we plan to cover closely, but since we’ve essentially upgraded a few and downgraded these others, we figured you guys might care to know what we’re thinking. If not, just skip our rationale below: Read More about GigaOM Spring Cleaning: Motorola and Others Hit the Dustbin

Like Facebook or Google, Wireless Carriers Need to Scale

Most in the technology world think about scaling in relation to web sites and data centers, but the carriers operating the world’s wireless networks are worried about scale as well. As they transition to fourth generation (4G) wireless networks, they’re not just thinking about increasing data speeds; they’re also trying to figure out how to deliver more data-consuming new services over their networks in a way that generates more money for them. Otherwise they’re planning to sell your personal data to advertisers to boost their bottom lines. Read More about Like Facebook or Google, Wireless Carriers Need to Scale

Alcatel Makes Cuts — Will It Help?

logoToday beleaguered telecommunication equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (s ALU) said it would cut 2 billion euros ($2.7 billion) in costs between now and 2010. It plans to do this by laying off 1,000 managers, 5,000 contractors and cutting costs in areas such as R&D and real estate. While this move comes amid troubling signs in the telecommunications industry, such as Alcatel-Lucent’s customers cutting costs and competitors such as Nortel (s nt) trying to raise cash as it tries to figure out how to steer through the downturn, it’s also an effort to make Alcatel more nimble in a competitive environment.

The company was struggling even before the bottom dropped out of the market, and the solution here is less about job cuts and more about consolidation or eliminating some of the weaker players in the overall industry. It has to happen, especially given that Alcatel executives expect the telecommunications equipment market will decline 8-12 percent in 2009 — declines that will stress stronger players, much less weaker ones. Alcatel-Lucent will also embrace new lines of business, such as services, but the company still has its work cut out for it. The cost-cutting can buy it time, but it still needs to address the issue of being a lumbering giant in a tough market.