In Africa, LTE deployment and usage is accelerating across a continent that faces considerable challenges in terms of its terrain, economic prosperity, and political and regulatory stability. While the number and breadth of network rollouts are clearly still far behind those in Europe, North America and Asia, Africa is providing a fertile breeding ground not only for different types of LTE players but also for different LTE service propositions and the role of mobile connectivity as an alternative to fixed-line services.
Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes said the company has demonstrated its commitment to open innovation in the digital sector by partnering with Partech Shaker, the first research campus established by a venture capital company.
Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia and Huawei are among the leading players in the small cell market, which is expected to boom to more than $5 billion by 2019, according to a new report from ABI Research. Fiber owners like Virgin Media, Zayo and CloudBerry are also likely to benefit from the move to small cells.
Service providers' ongoing moves to upgrade existing copper and build out Greenfield fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) services were a key contributor in broadband aggregation revenues, a sector that Infonetics Research said rose 9 percent in 2014 to $8.2 million.
T-Mobile US will be one of the first carriers to deploy Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) in 5 GHz spectrum in 2016.
There's a lot of talk about LTE-Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), or LTE-Unlicensed, but Alcatel-Lucent says there's no reason to wait for LTE-U. With the launch of its "Wireless Unified Networks," or WUN for short, at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, the vendor is blending the upload and download capabilities of Wi-Fi and cellular technologies to offer faster download and upload speeds and extended network range.
Some of the industry's biggest vendors clearly will be showcasing their wares with an eye toward 5G when they exhibit at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain, next week.
Bell Labs, the industrial research arm of Alcatel-Lucent, and Freescale Semiconductor are expanding their long-term partnership, including creation of a universal access device that can be used for any combination of wireline and wireless connections.
Alcatel-Lucent posted higher profit in the fourth quarter of 2014 and vowed to continue its march into profitability in 2015. However, like its larger peer Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent was stung in the fourth quarter by falling sales in North America, which is especially problematic since Alcatel-Lucent relies heavily on U.S. carriers for its overall sales.
Alcatel-Lucent's Shift Plan restructuring program may have peaked in terms of its effectiveness to deliver cost savings an analyst warned, as the company revealed fourth-quarter and full-year 2014 earnings that were below consensus estimates.