Alca-Lu: Worldwide equipment market to fall 8%-12%, but committed to LTE

French-based Alcatel-Lucent believes that the global market for telecoms equipment will decline by between 8 per cent and 12 per cent - at constant currency exchange rates - in 2009. Speaking at a telecoms conference last week, the company's CEO, Pierre Barnabe, said that while investments appeared to be slowing, demand for capacity remained resilient.

Looking to halt suggestions that Alca-Lu was planning to exit the wireless business, Barnabe said that the company remained focused on the sector, and added that the multi-billion US$ contract with Verizon Wireless "had definitely anchored us strongly in that business."

This viewpoint was strongly reinforced by the recent announcement that NTT DoCoMo had awarded an LTE backhaul contract to Alca-Lu. The company has been requested to supply multipoint Ethernet connections using its 1850 transport service switches to support operations, administration, security and network management. DoCoMo has stated that it plans to deploy LTE starting next year having demonstrated downlink rates of 250Mbps in outdoor R&D trials.

However, financial analysts have recently downgraded Alca-Lu to underperform following reports that Nortel had agreed to sell its CDMA and LTE business to Nokia Siemens Networks.

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