Alcatel Preps New Tech Roadmap
The public unveiling of the new product roadmap is expected around November 15, say industry sources, implying that the company expects to see approval prior to that time. (See Alcatel, Lucent Seal Deal.)
Alcatel spokespeople deny any knowledge of "anything related to the portfolio," and say no decisions can be made about any rationalization of a combined Alcatel Lucent product set until the merger process is completed.
While many industry analysts believe it will be early December before the seal of approval is granted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), details in Lucent's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) suggest that the green light could come from the White House in mid-November. (See Alcatel/Lucent Wait on W OK.)
Alcatel is keeping quiet about ongoing negotiations with Lucent, and no details are currently available about the exact nature of Alcatel's new product roadmap, but it's clear there has been plenty of rigorous discussion between the two companies about product line rationalization once the merger is completed.
At the recent Broadband World Forum event in Paris, one Lucent executive, Broadband Solutions VP Rob Piconi, said the two vendors have been "working on planning since May." He said there "won't be many surprises -- a lot of things will make sense," though he added, with a smile, that "some decisions will be more interesting."
Piconi, though, wasn't aware of any set date for new product roadmap plans to be announced.
The Alcatel/Lucent product portfolio decisions will have a major impact across the telecom world, with customers seeking assurance that their deployed technologies will be supported and developed, and rivals looking for weaknesses to exploit. (See Can Alcatel & Lucent Avoid an IMS Mess?)
In particular, the likes of Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), and Siemens Communications Group will be keen to see how the pair will deal with its wireless infrastructure portfolio. (See Nokia, Siemens Create Networks Giant.)
Alcatel has its own selection of base stations plus the UMTS access equipment recently acquired from Nortel Networks Ltd. , and Lucent has both GSM and CDMA equipment, giving the two companies a combined base station portfolio that, some industry experts believe, includes nearly 50 separate products, a very large number for any company to manage. (See Alcatel Snags Nortel 3G Unit.)
While Lucent has struggled to make inroads in the UMTS market, it has a major account under its belt at Cingular Wireless , which will be seeking assurances that its own investment and network strategy won't be compromised by any product rationalization decisions. (See Lucent Expands Cingular and Lucent Grabs Cingular Action.)
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