Alcatel-Lucent Company Brief (Archived Report)

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Archived Report
Company Brief


by Michael Gariffo

Docid: 00016296

Publication Date: 1610

Report Type: VENDOR


Alcatel-Lucent was a global telecommunications equipment manufacturer providing wireless, broadband, and IP network solutions for network operators,
enterprises, and governments. As the owner of Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent was
widely known as one of the most innovative communications technology developers
in the world, winning numerous awards for its creations and culture of
innovation. Headquartered in France beginning in 2006 when Alcatel
merged with US-based Lucent Technologies, the company has since been acquired by
Nokia in a $16.6 billion buyout. At the time of its absorption into Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent
operated in more than
130 countries and held more than 29,000 patents.

Report Contents:

Fast Facts

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Company Name: Alcatel-Lucent
3 av. Octave Greard
Paris 75007, France
Phone: (011) +33-1-40-76-10-10
Fax: (011) +33-1-40-76-14-00
Type of Vendor: Telecommunications equipment and services provider
Employees: 52,600
Founded: 1898 (Alcatel-Lucent merged in 2006)
Service Areas: Global


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Alcatel-Lucent began its life when French engineer Pierre Azaria founded the
Compagnie Générale d’Electricité (CGE) in 1898 as an industrial conglomerate.
After more than 100 years of various mergers, acquisitions, buyouts, and other
transactions, the company eventually began to resemble what it is today in December
2006 when European telecom company Alcatel merged with AT&T’s spinoff
corporation Lucent Technologies.

After the combination, Alcatel-Lucent slowed its voracious appetite for mergers and
acquisitions. The only subsequent noteworthy purchase occurred in 2008
when the company acquired Motive, a leading provider of
service management software for broadband and mobile data services. Rather than
expand from the outside, Alcatel’s culture switched to one focused on internal
development and innovation supported by alliances with major players in the
telecommunications market. The company’s most noteworthy partnerships included
a collaboration with LG Electronics to develop a reliable method for LTE to CDMA
handoffs during voice calls, and its selection as a primary supplier for Verizon
Wireless’ LTE buildout in the US. 

Alcatel’s road was not without its speed bumps, however. Aside from the
adverse effect global economics have had on the telecom sector over the
past decade, Alcatel also had to face a significant fine from the SEC over
alleged bribes used to land new business opportunities. This came as an extra
blow to a company already struggling to prune extraneous businesses and
assets created by decades of nearly unchecked mergers and expansions. The
conglomerate that Alcatel-Lucent had become was diversified
beyond an ability to sustain and was quickly drowning in its own

However, the company did manage to refocus its efforts to once again become a major player in the development of new telecom
technologies. This was thanks in large part to the presence of Bell Labs, the
research and development arm of Alcatel-Lucent. Bell has been responsible for
numerous telecommunications technologies that make modern networks and devices
possible, and has consistently received awards for its innovations in the
sector. As recently as 2012, Bell Labs still retained the top spot on the technology supersector within the Dow Jones Sustainability

Despite Alcatel-Lucent’s rebounding fortunes, the company decided, in 2015,
to accept a $16.6 billion buyout offer from Nokia. The company which was once
best known for making cell phones chose to acquire Alcatel’s assets as a way to
compete with the likes of Ericsson and Huawei in its new bread-and-butter market
of networking hardware and services. The buyout included operations in more than
130 countries, as well as approximately 53,000 employees. Perhaps even more
importantly for Nokia, Alcatel brings with it active contracts with some of the
largest and most well-known network operators in the world, giving Nokia access
to some of the most lucrative contracts in the modern telecom landscape.
Following the purchase in January 2016, the Alcatel-Lucent name
was officially discontinued in favor of the "Nokia
Corporation" brand. While Alcatel’s assets have since been absorbed into
the new entity, its prized Bell Labs organization remains intact and is
continuing to innovate as part of its new owners’ holdings. 

Major Products

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Table 1 illustrates Alcatel-Lucent’s major products and services at the time
of its purchase by Nokia. Its independent businesses have since been
discontinued, with the following product and service lines having been combined
with or replaced by Nokia-branded offerings. 

Table 1. Alcatel-Lucent’s Products & Services





Access systems for
mass deployment of video, voice, and data services. These include access
gateways, access management, DSL for copper and fiber systems, DSLAM
platforms, fiber access, IP access, multiservice access for business,
multiservice access for voice, and wireless access.

Cisco, Ericsson, Siemens, Motorola, Avaya


platforms, and servers for fixed and mobile operators and enterprises.
Includes: customer experience management, digital media/advertising,
multimedia communications, next generation IN (intelligent network), real
time converged payment, subscriber data management, and video

Cisco, Ericsson, Motorola

Carrier Ethernet, IP/MPLS, and ATM Networks

Routing and switching
equipment for carrier networks (core, edge, aggregation, customer edge, and
management). These include: carrier Ethernet switch/routers, IP/MPLS routers,
MSWAN platforms, and service-aware management of carrier Ethernet and IP/MPLS

Cisco, Ericsson, Motorola 

Carrier VoIP, Voice,
and Multimedia

gateways, and switches for fixed and mobile voice and data
traffic. Suite consists of: management of carrier voice/multimedia networks,
media gateways, mobile core switching, public TDM switching, signalling,
and softswitches. 

Cisco, Ericsson, Motorola


Products designed to offer a comprehensive virtualization platform for
on-premise to cloud transitions and beyond. The company characterizes its
cloud offerings as facilitating a Network functions virtualization (NFV)
structure, under which businesses can found an end-to-end virtualized infrastructure
accessible by themselves and their partners. 

Cisco, Microsoft, HP, Avaya, AWS


applications, and network management and control solutions for converged IMS
networks consisting of: network management and operations, and session
management and control.

Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei 


This suite of communication servers,
applications, and open networking equipment is comprised of: business
phones, contact center, enterprise communication applications, enterprise
communication servers, enterprise mobility, LAN/WAN/WLAN platforms,
enterprise network management, multiservice WAN access, and enterprise
network security.

Cisco, Ericsson, Motorola, 


End-to-end solutions
for CDMA, GSM, GPRS/EDGE, W-CDMA, WiMAX and LTE networks. The applications in
this suite are: CDMA/CDMA2000, customer experience management, GSM EDGE
Access, mobile/wireless network management, mobile
backhaul/interconnection products, mobile core switching, W-CDMA access,
and wireless packet core. 

Cisco, Ericsson, Motorola,

Network, Service
Management, and OSS/BSS

Solutions and services
for network management, customer care, billing, payment, service assurance
and service fulfillment.



Systems for core/backbone and metro/edge
networks, including core DWDM systems, optical network
management, metro WDM systems, multiservice SDH, multiservice SONET,
optical core switching, optical CPE, optical Ethernet, and packet

Cisco, Avaya

Submarine Systems

Submarine network systems, from short links to ultra long-haul

Corning, Xtera,

France Telecom

Wireless Access and

Microwave, optic and
WiMAX wireless network systems include packet radio transport, PDH point-to-point radio links, SDH
point-to-point digital radio, and SONET point-to-point digital radio.

Cisco, Ericsson, Motorola


Professional services
under Analytics, Transformation, Business Consulting, Integration, and Managed Services, addressing the needs of
providers and Industry and Public
Sector clients.


Major Competitors

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Alcatel-Lucent’s top competitors can now be considered some of Nokia’s top
competitors, as well. 

Recent Activity

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In 2012, Alcatel-Lucent received multiple awards for its technological
innovations including a spot on MIT’s Technology Review TR50, a list of the most
innovative companies; the top spot on the technology supersector within the Dow Jones Sustainability
Index; and the Mobile World Congress’ Best Infrastructure Technology Award for
its LightRadio Network.

In May 2013, Alcatel-Lucent began the third part of a massive, multi-phase
lawsuit against Microsoft over alleged patent violations. This case began in
2003, and, despite numerous judgments, remains in process as of the time of

In July 2013, Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs successfully conducted a test in
Paris that saw an experimental network reach speeds of 31 terabits per second (Tbps)
over a distance of 7,200 kilometers. This capacity is in excess of three times
what is currently available from modern communications technologies. 

In May 2014, Alcatel-Lucent initiated patent infringement litigation against
Sophos – as well as its subsidiary, Cyberroam – over  five patents relating
to network security and network management. Later, in September 2014, Alcatel-Lucent
Bell Labs opened its third research center in California’s Silicon Valley, with
an intense focus on developing cloud and SDN (Software Defined Networks)

In April 2015, Alcatel-Lucent agreed to a $16.6 billion buyout from Nokia.
The companies will merge into a single entity called the Nokia Corporation,
producing one of the largest telecom equipment manufacturers in the world.

In January 2016, Alcatel-Lucent’s acquisition by and merger with Nokia
officially closed, creating a single entity branded as the Nokia Corporation.
The Bell Labs division was left intact, and is now part of the R&D assets of


1 "Results Announced for 2012 Dow Jones Sustainability
Indexes Review." S&P Dow Jones.
September 13, 2012.

About the Author

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Michael Gariffo is an editor for Faulkner Information Services. He
tracks and writes about enterprise software and the IT services sector, as well
as telecommunications and data networking.

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