Alcatel stakes early leadership claim for mobile WiMAX
Barcelona, February 13, 2006 — On the occasion of the 3GSM World Congress 2006, Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA) announced today it had made rapid strides toward launching its industry-leading mobile WiMAX solution. The company unveiled its Evolium® WiMAX base station, based on the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard (formerly known as 802.16e), and confirmed its availability for commercial network deployments starting mid-2006 – only a few months after the IEEE ratified its standard last December.
At its booth in Barcelona (Hall 8, Booth A09), the company is giving the world a first look at its Evolium® WiMAX base station. In a live showcase, Alcatel’s highly compact oudoor base station – equipped with smart antenna technology – delivers video streams over the air to laptops equipped with PCMCIA cards.
This illustrates Alcatel’s commitment to WiMAX as a key element of its universal broadband access strategy. Alcatel’s Evolium WiMAX solution natively supports fixed, nomadic and mobile usage. Moreover, this cost-efficient, high-performance solution will help operators address end-user expectations across diverse geographies and market profiles. In the developing world, the solution will help meet the growing need for affordable VoIP-based telephony, high-speed Internet access and community services, especially in areas where no fixed broadband network exists. In more advanced markets, Alcatel’s mobile WiMAX solution also promises to complement fixed and mobile networks, enabling operators to extend their service reach for broadband applications such as mobile Internet, video, gaming, and mobile office.
In addition to its active role in the WiMAX Forum™, Alcatel has been broadening its mobile WiMAX ecosystem over the past year, through cooperation with leading trendsetters in the definition of reference usage profiles and interoperability testing. Key collaborators include Intel Corporation, KT, Samsung and C-DOT.
Since Alcatel’s agreement with Intel, announced at 3GSM last year, the two companies have collaborated to accelerate the development of mobile WiMAX technology, jointly working to ensure the ratification of the IEEE 802.16e-2005 standard. Meanwhile, an interoperability testing campaign is on-track to serve the mass market by 2007 to help ensure that Intel-powered devices will work seamlessly with Alcatel’s WiMAX infrastructure. Furthermore, Alcatel and Intel are pursuing co-marketing activities to boost the WiMAX market take-off by examining real-life usage models and assessing end-user behavior.
“Intel and Alcatel have been taking key steps together to accelerate the deployment of mobile WiMAX,” said Scott Richardson, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Service Provider Business Group. “Through interoperability testing and developing usage models, we hope to drive greater adoption and availability of mobile WiMAX networks.”
“It is no exaggeration to say that the market has been waiting for the advent of mobile WiMAX ,” said Peter Jarich, Principal Analyst at Current Analysis. “Bringing together wireless broadband with the efficiencies of a flat IP network yields the technological flexibility to deliver mobile Internet to business users in mature markets as well as basic lifeline voice and Internet services to a village in Africa. Alcatel was one of the first vendors to throw major support behind 802.16e-2005. Building on this early focus, the relationship Alcatel has built with key players - such as Intel - paves the way for broadband wireless to succeed across multiple markets.”
“Alcatel has delivered on its promises, with the availability of our mobile WiMAX solution ahead of most vendors,” said Marc Rouanne, chief operating officer of Alcatel’s mobile communications activities. “By allowing commercial network deployments to start by mid-2006, our solution will help accelerate the WiMAX market worldwide, and provide broadband access for fixed, nomadic and mobile usage, in line with the company’s user-centric broadband strategy.”
As part of its global WiMAX strategy, Alcatel created last year a joint R&D center with C-DOT, the Indian Government’s telecom technology development center, to accelerate the availability of WiMAX solutions adapted for the technical and regulatory specificities of fast-growing markets, in particular the Indian one.
Alcatel provides communications solutions to telecommunication carriers, Internet service providers and enterprises for delivery of voice, data and video applications to their customers or employees. Alcatel brings its leading position in fixed and mobile broadband networks, applications and services, to help its partners and customers build a user-centric broadband world. With sales of EURO 13.1 billion and 58,000 employees in 2005, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries.
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