Optical/IP Networks

Alcatel's Healthy Deal

1:00 AM -- Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) announced a very large multiyear contract worth $300 million this week -- but not with a telecom operator. (See Alcatel Wins $300M Deal.)

Instead, the deal is with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, with which Alcatel will form a joint venture to develop technologies and applications for the healthcare industry, as well as providing "enterprise data and telephony solutions, IP routing equipment, optical transport technology and contact center solutions."

News of the deal comes as Nortel Networks Ltd. announces a significant ramp in its enterprise sales, and only weeks after Nortel executives were briefing European journalists in London about their company's clear lead in the enterprise space, and even talking down Alcatel as an enterprise sector has-been. (See Enterprise Keeps Nortel in Line.)

Alcatel's deal was sealed by the vendor's current president of North America, the Hubert de Pesquidoux [ed. note: French, by any chance?]. Once Alcatel and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) have exchanged vows, which is set to happen some time in the next few weeks, de Pesquidoux will head up the new giant's Enterprise Business Group. (See Quigley Steps Down as Lucatel COO.)

Alcatel isn't the only vendor sealing telecom infrastructure deals with non-carrier customers, but can any other supplier boast a deal that big?

Answers on a virtual postcard please…

— Ray de Peskyname, International News Editor, Light Reading

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