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Alcatel-Lucent solution provides critical new visibility to wireless networks, helping carriers ensure problem-free delivery of IP-based wireless broadband services


Canada’s Bell Mobility is trialing the Alcatel-Lucent 9900 Wireless Network Guardian (WNG) to optimize the delivery of advanced wireless data offerings

Paris, March 2008 — Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) today announced the Alcatel-Lucent 9900 Wireless Network Guardian (WNG), the industry’s first mobile network management solution that addresses a critical emerging need by carriers for enhanced visibility in third-generation (3G) and emerging 4G networks. Unaddressed, this gap in network visibility could lead to network disruption as wireless network operators increasingly support new data services, devices, and applications.

Canada’s Bell Mobility is the first carrier to trial the Alcatel-Lucent 9900 WNG in a live commercial network. The product will be publicly unveiled at the CTIA Wireless 2008 Tradeshow on April 1.

Wireless behavioral research conducted by Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs over the last three years shows that transmitting IP packet data and IP applications place significantly different load types on wireless networks than voice traffic due to differences between voice and IP. As an example, when considering common applications such as VPN, e-mail, Web-surfing, and peer-to-peer, some use up to 1,000 times more wireless network resources (airtime, signaling, etc.) per byte of data than others - potentially creating substantial network congestion if left unaddressed. This challenge is increasing with the growing adoption of more sophisticated, high-bandwidth services and the trend toward “open” wireless networks.

Until today, carriers did not have a single tool that could comprehensively track IP traffic across the many network layers and measure its consumption of wireless network resources – a situation that could cause service-affecting network problems as new applications are transmitted on wireless networks. By connecting usage sessions to wireless network resource consumption, the Alcatel-Lucent 9900 Wireless Network Guardian provides critical network visibility that service providers will need to manage the effects IP-based applications have on their wireless networks.

“As our consumer and business clients use more and more data services and applications, Bell Mobility remains committed to providing the most secure and reliable experience possible over our high-speed wireless network,” said Stephen Howe, Chief Technology Officer for Bell. “Technologies like the Wireless Network Guardian can help us continue to deliver the best-in-class mobile data services that differentiate us in the Canadian wireless marketplace.”

Invented by Bell Labs, the Alcatel-Lucent 9900 WNG is the third product to come out of its Alcatel-Lucent Ventures organization in less than one year – following the OmniAccess 3500 Nonstop Laptop Guardian and the OmniAccess 8550 Web Services Gateway. The 9900 WNG was developed in consultation with leading wireless operators. It is the first product that makes it possible for carriers to engineer wireless data flow with the level of granularity needed to understand each flow’s impact on every layer and choke point in the wireless network, specifically the radio access network. With this capacity carriers are now able to efficiently and optimally accommodate demanding data applications through traffic optimization and/or strategic network expansion.

“There is no shortage of tools on the market that provide traffic analysis for wireless operators,” notes Peter Jarich, Research Director with Current Analysis. “Much less common, however, are tools that go beyond simply identifying traffic types or usage and provide visibility into the impact of that traffic on network performance. Most people believe that going forward - as 3G ramps up and 4G gets launched - nobody can predict which applications will drive mobile broadband uptake. If so, tools such as Alcatel-Lucent’s 9900 WNG will be critical for ensuring that operators can not only head off network threats but also incent applications that make the most efficient use of network resources.”

The Alcatel-Lucent 9900 WNG leverages Bell Labs innovations and deep technical understanding of IP and wireless networks to provide end-to-end, real-time visibility of how mobile data subscriptions and services are affecting the radio access data network. To enhance the delivery of data and applications to their subscribers, carriers such as Bell Mobility can monitor their networks to ensure that they make the best possible use of the precious air spectrum between the network and the mobile endpoints.

“We are at a tipping point in wireless data networking. As applications and network usage patterns change, operators’ networks need to evolve to address this traffic growth and mitigate the impact of these changes so our wireless customers can provide their customers with unparalleled data services,” said Mary Chan, President of wireless networks activities for Alcatel-Lucent. ”This new solution fits perfectly into Alcatel-Lucent’s broad portfolio of solutions for wireless networks and represents a critical first step in wireless IP transformation – one that every carrier who offers or plans to offer wireless broadband services has to address in order to confidently manage their increasingly open wireless networks.”


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