Rouanne Takes 4G Role at NSN
Rouanne's new role puts him at the heart of the critical battle among a core group of major vendors, including AlcaLu, Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701), and Nortel Networks Ltd. , that are battling to position themselves as credible providers of 4G (fourth generation) mobile networks. (See AlcaLu, NEC Team for 4G, NSN Does LTE, Nortel Demos LTE, Huawei Shows Off, MWC Preview: LTE in the Limelight , NSN Touts Tier 1 4G Trials, and NTT Tests Fujitsu's LTE.)
Rouanne, a relatively young executive with a good reputation in the wireless world, was appointed head of AlcaLu's Convergence Group, with responsibility for IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and fixed/mobile convergence, when Alcatel and Lucent merged in late 2006. (See Lucatel: New Team, Old Faces.)
But when CEO Pat Russo reorganized the vendor's structure in late October 2007, the Convergence Group disappeared, and Rouanne was left without a senior post. (See Russo Shakes Up AlcaLu's Top Team, AlcaLu Revamps Its Carrier Business, and AlcaLu's Floaters.)
And as recently as January this year, ahead of the monster Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona, AlcaLu said he was still "transitioning to a new position." (See AlcaLu Exec Still in Limbo.)
That new position, though, is at rival vendor Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), where he will take up his new position on April 1.
Rouanne, who will report to COO Mika Vehviläinen, replaces Ari Lehtoranta, who is taking a leave of absence from NSN starting April 1 for personal reasons. A NSN spokeswoman says it is company policy for executives not to return to the same post following a leave of absence.
Rouanne will be responsible for a significant business: NSN is the second largest mobile infrastructure vendor, behind Ericsson, claiming to have 260 carrier customers in 117 countries for its 2G (GSM, GPRS, EDGE) and 3G (WCDMA) mobile access products.
And now the vendor is hard at work developing its 4G, or Long Term Evolution (LTE), product line. The company says upgrades to its flexi base station line will be available later this year that will prepare operators for a software upgrade to LTE, something the vendor believes will happen from the second half of 2009 onwards. It is also developing a 4G control plane, its Mobility management Entity (MME), and a packet core gateway based on the 4G system architecture evolution (SAE) standard.
While many vendors are talking about late 2009 for the availability of LTE systems, industry experts don't expect to see the technology being deployed commercially until 2010 at the earliest, and later than that in most markets. (See Next-Gen Spectrum Crunch, 3G LTE: How Far? How Fast?, and DT's 4G Folly.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading