Alcatel-Lucent Pushes Forward into 2016

Big deals and big changes mark the start of the new year for Alcatel-Lucent.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Jan 6, 2016
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Alcatel-Lucent is starting 2016 with a big new business win and soon a new owner, too.

Nokia is set to acquire Alcatel-Lucent in a $16.6 billion deal that was first announced in April of 2015. Nokia announced today that it has issued shares to Alcatel-Lucent shareholders to faciliate the deal, which has now been formally approved by regulators and shareholders alike.

The first official day for the new, combined company as an operational entity is January 14. Alcatel-Lucent isn't waiting to move forward on significant business opportunities, however, and today announced a major win with Japanese carrier NTT DOCOMO. NTT DOCOMO will be using the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS) to help grow and expand the carrier's operations and its scale to meet increasing demands.

NTT is already an Alcatel-Lucent customer, though the 7950 XRS fits into an area of NTT DOCOMO's network where it had not been before.

"The CER [Core Edge Router] project was new. But we were not the incumbent for the core network," Manish Gulyani, VP of Product Marketing for ALU’s IP Routing and Transport (IPRT) portfolio, told Enterprise Networking Planet.

Gulyani was unable to comment on the financial and deployment specifics of the 7950 ERS deal with NTT DOCOMO.

The 7950 XRS was first announced in 2012 as Alcatel-Lucent's entry into the core routing market. The 7950 XRS competes against the Juniper T4000 and Cisco CRS-3 core routing platforms. At the core of the 7950 XRS is Alcatel-Lucent's own FP3 silicon, a 400 Gbps enabled technology.

One of the big things that carriers will continue to deal with in 2016 is the move to IPv6, especially in Asia, where IPv4 address space has already been exhausted.

"The XRS supports IPv6 - as mobile operators transition to IPv6 services, they need the infrastructure to be capable of supporting it," Gulyani said.

With the official start of Alcatel-Lucent operations under the ownership of Nokia just a few days away, Gulyani doesn't expect any impact on the 7950 XRS and the new deal with NTT

"IP routing is one of Alcatel-Lucent’s core strengths," Gulyani said. "We do not anticipate any impact on our IP core router."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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