Alcatel-Lucent and NEC will form a joint venture that will focus on Long Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G technology.
Alcatel-Lucent also plans to establish a research center in Shanghai for the 4G technology that has evolved from China's 3G standard, the companies said yesterday in Barcelona, Spain.
LTE supports wireless Internet download speeds of about 200 megabits per second on handsets, 100 times faster than 3G. It is often used for high-definition video transfers.
Under the joint venture, the two companies will pool existing research & development resources and leverage expertise in key technologies such as IP and multiple input/multiple output (MIMO).
Both sides declined to reveal the financial details of the joint venture.
"This strategic collaboration with NEC is driven by scale, time-to-market, and product excellence objectives and it will put us in a strong position to ride the next wave of transformation in the wireless industry," Patricia Russo, chief executive of Alcatel-Lucent, said during the Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona.
NEC is strong both in IT and telecommunications and the cooperation will ensure the company leads in "advanced wireless services globally," said Kaoru Yano, NEC president.
"This is a smart pairing that will help accelerate the availability of LTE by capitalizing on early market implementations that we expect to occur in Japan and North America," said Philip Marshall, who heads up technology research at Yankee Group, a US-based research firm.
Japan-based NTT DoCoMo has already selected NEC as a vendor for commercial service deployment of its Super 3G (LTE) project and US-based Verizon has selected Alcatel-Lucent as equipment vendor to initiate a LTE trial program.
The Chinese research center will not be included in the joint venture as China will adopt its own 3G technology, according to Michel Rahier, Alcatel-Lucent?s carrier-business group head.
"We listen to clients, therefore we will establish a team in Shanghai, under Alcatel Shanghai Bell, to work on the 4G technology compatible with China's 3G technology," Rahier said in Barcelona.
Initially, the Shanghai team will consist of 100 people, according to Rahier.
(Shanghai Daily February 13, 2008)