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Mobile Matters: 3GSM Snippets

Ray Le Maistre
LR Mobile News Analysis
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief
2/26/2007

Hundreds of companies made thousands of news announcements, most of them dull, at this year's 3GSM wireless jamboree in Barcelona.

There were, though, some things worth reporting, including news from some of the big names in mobile:

And some others too:

But there are still a few news snippets to shake out of the notebook.

Hanging On to Lucent's 3G
Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), for example, had plenty of announcements to make, including some interesting new contracts. (See T-Mobile Picks Alcatel-Lucent, Partner Uses Alcatel-Lucent, Alcatel-Lucent Spews News, and ALU Shows Off at 3GSM.)

What it didn't note in any press releases is that the company is retaining the former Lucent 3G base station products to keep Cingular Wireless , now part of AT&T, happy. Mary Chan, head of AlcaLu's wireless group, says the company will not be killing off the 3G 850MHz and 1900MHz wireless access gear, saying that the same product line will continue to be supplied to Cingular. (See Lucent, Cingular Prep HSDPA and Cingular Confirms 3G Trio.)

The vendor is, though, retiring, and even ripping out and replacing, the former Alcatel 3G base station range and replacing them with the 3G line acquired from Nortel. (See AlcaLu Makes Product Cuts and Alcatel Snags Nortel 3G Unit.)

Sylantro, Ericsson's New Friend
IP centrex specialist Sylantro Systems Corp. was at 3GSM, talking up some new business at Swisscom AG (NYSE: SCM) and KT Corp. , and introducing its new CEO, Marco Limena, to the mobile community. (See Swisscom Deploys Sylantro, KT Uses Sylantro, and Sylantro Names CEO.)

The Swisscom deployment is interesting because Sylantro is working very closely with Ericsson to implement a pre-IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem), and IMS migration, strategy. That's notable because Ericsson usually takes Sylantro's arch rival, BroadSoft Inc. , into any VOIP and IMS deployments in which it's engaged. (See Ericsson Resells BroadSoft and Ericsson, Broadsoft Snack on Danish.)

"We work with other channels more than Ericsson, and we don't have Ericsson in our partner list, but we're happy to do business with them, and hope to do more," says Limena, who joined from HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ).

Tellabs Touts Backhaul
Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) was in Barcelona, talking up its wireless backhaul credentials, showing off its new MSPP (multiservice provisioning platform) that can sit at mobile cell sites, and talking of a survey it commissioned into mobile TV acceptance (or lack of it). (See Tellabs Touts 3G Switch and Study: Mobile TV Stumbles.)

Pat Dolan, the vendor's VP for Europe, Middle East and Africa, says all the major wireless operators have RFQs (request for quotation) out for wireless backhaul technology at present. The backhaul issue is a major concern for carriers and a significant opportunity for optical vendors such as Tellabs, Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), and Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR), and specialists such as Axerra Networks Inc. and Kentrox LLC . (See Mobile Carriers Tackle Backhaul Bottleneck, Backhaul Packs 'Em In, and T-Mobile's Backhaul Bugbear .)

And Dolan is confident of winning plenty of backhaul business. So far, "we haven't lost a bid we've been engaged in," says the Tellabs man. (See Tellabs Sneaks in a Cingular Win.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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