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Russo Promises Disruption

Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) CEO Pat Russo dangled a teaser in front of the wireless community today during the vendor's first-quarter results conference call (see Lucent Dips on Q1 Numbers).

As analysts probed away at Lucent's senior executives for more "color" on their plans for the world's GSM/UMTS operators, now that the vendor has finally lost its 3G cherry with Cingular Wireless, Russo hinted at a new development in Lucent's labs.

She said the firm is "working on a data-focused disruptive technology" to sell into UMTS markets, but that the launch was "12 months down the line."

A Lucent spokesman said the comment did not refer to the recent partnership struck with WiMax firm Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR), and that he couldn't elaborate any further (see Lucent to Resell Alvarion).

He did say, though, that Lucent would be showcasing some new wireless developments at the coming travel expenses nightmare that is the annual 3GSM show in Cannes, France.

So what is Lucent up to? Is it developing its own OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) technology? After all, the technology developed by OFDM system vendor Flarion Technologies started life in Lucent's Bell Labs.

It's a possibility. OFDM is a "data-focused" technology that provides a cost-efficient, and capacity-efficient, way to offer high-speed data services that could prove attractive to operators not wanting to roll out expensive, nationwide UMTS networks.

Alternatively, Lucent could even partner with Flarion if it's heading down the OFDM path, though analysts don't think that's a likely coupling, and Flarion flashed its "no comment" card at us when we called today (see Flarion Preps OEM Deals).

The Cannes show might just reveal what Russo was talking about, but don't hold your breath as you force down yet another pain au chocolat.

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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