Alcatel-Lucent wins NTT DoCoMo LTE backhaul contract

Alcatel-Lucent notched up another deal for its IP technology by securing a contract to help resolve the backhaul requirements of the highly regarded Japanese operator NTT DoCoMo, which operates in one of the world's most advanced mobile communications markets.

The equipment manufacturer said the technology is being delivered through Fujitsu as a channel partner, and that it's IP technology will enable NTT DoCoMo to meet the rapidly increasing demand for LTE data services including videos and music streaming, and multi-player gaming.

In detail, DoCoMo plans to deploy Alcatel-Lucent's 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS), which supports 100 Gbps Ethernet technology and will help address what the company says has been a significant spike in demand for its mobile broadband service in Japan.

"Demand for mobile ultra-broadband services in Japan is exploding, and this is a serious challenge for telecom carriers," said Alcatel-Lucent Japan president Nicolas Bouverot.

Indeed, backhaul continues to be a major thorn in the side of operators globally as they deal with rising data traffic on their networks. At the recent Transport Networks for Mobile Operators trade conference in London, panellists said operators should be considering backhaul as part of their overall network deployments, rather than treating it as a separate issue.

Peter Jennings, CTO of MLL Telecom, said treating backhaul separately from a network's coverage requirements is less cost effective than designing the backhaul as part of the total network. Nonetheless, it was also recognised that there is no "one size fits all" approach to backhaul.

For Alcatel-Lucent, IP technologies is one of its core pillars for future growth as part of its transformation strategy, called the Shift Plan. The company has repositioned itself as a specialist in IP, cloud networking and ultra-broadband access.

NTT DoCoMo, meanwhile, is already looking ahead to 5G: earlier in May the operator said it will conduct "experimental trials" of emerging 5G technologies together with six vendors: Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Fujitsu, NEC, Nokia, and Samsung.

For more:
- see this Alcatel-Lucent release

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DoCoMo takes on 6 partners to tackle 5G
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