Alcatel-Lucent wins 2 more LTE deals in China

Hot on the heels of its return to France's blue-chip company index, Alcatel-Lucent reported more good news this week after it won two more LTE deals in China.

After being granted a TD-LTE licence in China last week along with rivals China Telecom and China Unicom, China Mobile has now opted to deploy metro cells--small cells deployed in public areas--from Alcatel-Lucent in its TD-LTE network following a small cells trial in several Chinese cities.

Metro cells are regarded as an increasingly important part of mobile broadband networks based on LTE as they are able to complement existing macro cells by enhancing network coverage and capacity. Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile first launched the joint lightRadio 9768 Metro Radio Outdoor (MRO) at Mobile World Congress in February this year.

Alcatel-Lucent is already one of the nine vendors selected to build China Mobile's TD-LTE network; in September the operator confirmed its selection of vendors for its first TD-LTE contracts, which are believed to be worth around 20 billion yuan ($3.29 billion or €2.40 billion). Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent have since confirmed that they each won an 11 per cent share of the deal, and Alcatel-Lucent also said it is providing 24 per cent of the Evolved Packet Core for the TD-LTE network.

As well as the small cells deal with China Mobile, Alcatel-Lucent said China Telecom has picked it as one of three vendors--the other two are reportedly Huawei and ZTE--to supply the operator's FDD-LTE and TD-LTE networks. Like China Mobile, China Telecom also won a TD-LTE licence in China last week, although FDD-LTE licences are not expected to be issued until well into 2014.

Alcatel-Lucent said China Telecom has selected its lightRadio LTE Radio Access Network (RAN) as a key piece of its new nationwide ultra-broadband mobile access network. Alcatel-Lucent will provide 9,892 base stations as one of the top three suppliers for China Telecom's deployment of TD-LTE and FDD-LTE technologies in 12 provinces in China.

"Ultra-broadband access is a core part of The Shift Plan, and mobile broadband in particular is one of the areas we are investing in to provide customers with technology enabling them to bring their LTE services to market quickly and effectively," Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes said in a statement. "As such, this is a significant win for Alcatel-Lucent, underlining the relevance and popularity of our LTE strategy."

Combes unveiled the Shift Plan in June this year when he outlined further cost-cutting measures at Alcatel-Lucent in a drive to become cash-flow positive by 2015. The CEO also touted a new slimmed-down organisational structure that will see the company focus on three main segments in order to become a specialist in IP networking and ultra-high-speed broadband.

The group plans to focus on high-growth areas such as LTE and high-speed broadband, and to lower fixed costs by more than 15 per cent, saving a total of €1 billion ($1.37 billion).

In October, the company also confirmed it would cut a further 10,000 jobs worldwide by 2015 as part of the Shift Plan.

For more:
- see this Alcatel-Lucent release
- see this separate Alcatel-Lucent release

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