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Interview: Alcatel-Lucent's Mary Chan

BARCELONA -- GSMA Mobile World Congress -- Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) is serious about mobile broadband technology Long-Term Evolution (LTE). And with Verizon Wireless poised to announce a shortlist of LTE vendors this week at the Mobile World Congress, Alcatel-Lucent is among the contenders. (See Verizon to Name LTE Vendors at MWC and MWC Preview: LTE Steals the Show .)

Unstrung caught up with Mary Chan, AlcaLu's newly appointed president of end-to-end 4G/LTE networks, before the start of the Mobile World Congress and asked her about Alcatel-Lucent's plans for LTE product development and strategy. (See Hail Mary: Chan Takes 4G Helm at AlcaLu.)

We found out that AlcaLu is no longer jointly developing radio access network (RAN) products with NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701) and that it also intends to build its own evolved packet core (EPC) products. And this week in Barcelona, the company will talk up LTE applications and device developments, and perhaps reveal some partners. Read on:

Unstrung: You've been appointed president of end-to-end 4G/LTE networks. What is your remit?

Mary Chan: In addition to the RAN, we are looking at solutions across the core on the packet side, the transport side, the IMS capability, in terms of the evolved voice capability for VoIP, and also the ecosystem in terms of third-party partnership and devices. The intent here is to create an organization that has the total accountability to deliver the end-to-end solution. And we also work with our services team... so my team also has the responsbility of bringing the service aspects out there as well.

So, that is the end-to-end organization. In terms of the product deliveries, we're working across the company through the multiple product divisions we have in order to pull that together.

UN: What is the status of Alcatel-Lucent's relationship with NEC?

MC: We started with looking at joint development of RAN aspects and pulling that together into a joint venture kind of structure. We decided to stop that particular joint development and build our own.

There are some additional discussions in terms of what we can offer to NEC on the packet core and our strong transport assets for supporting the LTE deployment of the Japanese market, and those conversations certainly continue to leverage both companies' strengths on IP and some of the mobile transport areas.

UN: OK, so the relationship has changed to more of a market entry kind of relationship for Alcatel-Lucent getting into Japan, particularly in the areas of transport and packet core, is that correct?

MC: Yes. This is more looking at what we can bring to the table and what we can partner in terms of NEC to go to their market and their customers, which is, in this case, NTT DoCoMo Inc. (NYSE: DCM).

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