Alca-Lu to up investment in LTE

Alcatel-Lucent is to increase its investment in LTE mobile technology - in a clear signal it intends to remain in the wireless market in spite of investor pressure to quit, according to the Financial Times.
One of Ben Verwaayen's first acts as CEO of the ailing mammoth back in the summer was to scale back its LTE joint venture with NEC.
Alcatel-Lucent currently spends about €1.5 billion annually on R&D, but it is not yet clear which areas will lose out to LTE's ascendancy, but WiMAX - widely perceived as a rival technology to LTE - is perhaps the most obvious candidate, the FT speculates.
The decision is not likely to go down well with all shareholders, who had their patience sorely tried by the disastrous results delivered by former CEO Patricia Russo whom they ousted. Alca-Lu's third generation WCDMA business is losing money hand over first and investors were keen to offload it.
Now the company wants to invest heavily in the next generation of the technology, even though the world's biggest telecom equipment maker, Ericsson, is already dominates LTE.
Verwaayen's view is that Alcatel-Lucent cannot afford not to be in the sector as LTE starts to be widely deployed around the globe in 2010, although given the financial climate, operators may delay investing in it for a year or more.