Q&A with Philippe Keryer, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer,
Philippe – what has been announced today?
We’re very pleased to announce that Alcatel-Lucent has been chosen to be one
of two suppliers helping Telefónica Spain deploy a 4G LTE ‘overlay’ network
over its existing nationwide 3G network. I am very excited by this
announcement, as it will enable Telefónica to bring 4G service to Spain -
quickly - using our technology.
Why is this agreement important to Alcatel-Lucent?
This is important for several reasons. Firstly, it is an additional
proofpoint of the execution of The Shift Plan and of our recognized expertise
in Ultra-Broadband Access, one of the two areas we have chosen to focus
aggressively on. Secondly, this is our largest LTE win to date in Western
Europe. We will be supplying more than 8,000 4G LTE base stations to
Telefónica, which will be deployed throughout Spain, bringing 4G to a large
part of the country. Spain is, after France and our win with Orange, the second
large European country where we will be deploying 4G. This is in addition to
our strong 4G presence in the US where we have deployed the technology with the
three major operators.
Why is this agreement important for Telefónica?
This is an equally important announcement for Telefónica in Spain, as
Alcatel-Lucent – as a supplier of choice - will be playing a significant part
in Telefónica’s launch of a nationwide 4G service at an economically critical
time in the country. Telefónica came to Alcatel-Lucent for its ‘overlay’
solution, as it allows the quick deployment of 4G infrastructure, enabling
Telefónica to accelerate its 4G market launch, building it on top of the
existing 3G platform. Only a flexible overlay approach can enable the fast and
cost-effective deployment of 4G for Telefónica.
What is this deal worth to Alcatel-Lucent?
We won’t be disclosing the financial value of this deal, but I can happily
say that this is a very significant agreement for Alcatel-Lucent and our
largest 4G LTE contract to date in Europe in terms of hardware supply.
When will you start shipping base stations to Telefónica?
We will commence deployment straight away, and expect to have 1400 of the
8000 base stations in place by the end of 2013.
4G LTE appears slow to be launched in Europe, and the region seems a long
way behind the United States and parts of Asia – does this agreement change
Telefónica’s launch of 4G LTE services in Europe is certainly an indicator
that 4G is beginning to take off outside the US and Asia, a point supported by
the recent commercial launches of 4G services in other European countries, such
as France, the UK and Germany, as well as services in the Middle East and
Is this your only business with Telefónica?
Telefónica is a significant and long-standing customer of Alcatel-Lucent,
and we have business with them in many parts of the world. In Spain,
particularly, we are involved in Telefónica’s fiber-to-the home rollout, as
well as integrating their IP TV service, Movistar TV. We also have an important
presence in Telefónica’s optics network with a long track record of innovation
milestones, such as the first 100, 200 and 400 gigabit-per-second transmissions
over a live network, working to streamline their software management systems,
and providing ultra-broadband access for residential and enterprise users.
Where else does Alcatel-Lucent provide 4G technology?
We currently provide 4G technology to more than 20 service providers in 20
countries. For example, in the United States we work with Verizon, AT&T,
Sprint and nTELOS, and in Brazil we work with Oi – helping them gear up towards
two major global sporting events taking place there between now and 2016. In
China we have been participating in the first phase of China Mobile’s
pre-commercial launch trial of LTE technology, while elsewhere in Asia we serve
Etisalat Sri Lanka’s wireless and IP networking needs for 4G. In Europe, we
work with Orange. And in Africa, where 4G is making considerable inroads, we
provide 4G LTE networks for Smile in Tanzania and Uganda, and Surfline in
Ghana. Millions of 4G subscribers are today benefitting from networks empowered
by Alcatel-Lucent technology.
Lastly, why is 4G so important?
The dramatic growth of smartphones and tablet devices, and the explosion of
video applications are driving the need for ultra-broadband access. Faster
connections to entertainment and social networks are having a major cultural
impact in many parts of the world. Furthermore, 4G will have a huge influence
on public life, particularly in terms of economics, education, inclusiveness
and the delivery of a wide array of public services. For example,
Alcatel-Lucent is developing 4G-based technologies for emergency services,
providing first responders with fast, video-based communications to deal with
situations more effectively, saving lives and property in the process.