Alcatel-Lucent makes headway in public-safety LTE testing

Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) announced it has become the first vendor whose LTE system for public safety has successfully completed third-party interoperability testing for both its radio access network (RAN) and core network components. The tested network solution operates in public-safety 700 MHz band 14 spectrum, covering both public-safety broadband and D-block spectrum.

During the testing, an Alcatel-Lucent eNodeB was paired with a Cisco evolved packet core (EPC). Testing also validated Alcatel-Lucent EPC working with an Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) eNodeB and a Nokia Siemens Networks eNodeB.

"This interoperability testing highlights the benefits to public safety of using open standards based commercial broadband technology," said the vendor, noting the goal of interoperability for public-safety LTE networks to enable agencies to acquire core networks and eNodeBs from multiple suppliers. "Since the RAN and associated backhaul are typically a significant part of the overall LTE network cost, the flexibility to select the best in class for a specific location is beneficial," said Alcatel-Lucent

Earlier this month, Nokia Siemens Networks, Cisco Systems and Harris jointly announced completion of conformance and interoperability testing of their 700 MHz public-safety LTE solutions. The three vendors said they satisfied the initial section of the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program phase 3 LTE demonstration network test plan, which includes conformance assessment of the network architecture, interoperability testing, handover testing and evaluation and focused testing for stress, performance, messaging/protocol and applications.

The nationwide 700 MHz public-safety broadband network will be overseen by the First Responders Network Authority (FirstNet), an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is part of the Commerce Department.

In other Alcatel-Lucent news, the vendor recently detailed how it plans to cut its workforce by 5,490 jobs as part of a plan to save nearly $1.63 billion (1.25 billion euros) by the end of 2013. Alcatel-Lucent said the headcount reductions are needed because they "reflect the focusing of the company's presence in some geographies, as well as the need to align our cost structure in all geographic and functional areas, with the exception of R&D."

For more:
- see this Alcatel-Lucent release

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