The latest phase in Alcatel-Lucent's "Shift Plan" was revealed early Wednesday with the news that the vendor is transferring around 170 of its 4G LTE research engineers to a new entity being created by French engineering consultancy Altran. (See Alcatel-Lucent Forges 4G Partnership With Altran, Alcatel-Lucent to Cut 10,000 Jobs, and Alcatel-Lucent Unveils Shift Plan.)
Altran, which has been working with AlcaLu for about 15 years on R&D projects, is creating a new unit dedicated to the development of as yet unspecified 4G products and R&D services, which will be offered to the broad market and not just to Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU).
Altran will take on 170 of the 250 AlcaLu 4G engineers who are based at Orvault in the west of France. Alcatel-Lucent would not disclose what type of R&D role those engineers currently play and said it could not discuss the impact the transfer would have on its staff operating costs. The vendor is meeting with French unions today to discuss the timing of the transfer.
Once the transfer takes place, Alcatel-Lucent says it will seek to work with the Altran unit on 4G developments, but there are no guarantees around the level or nature of those activities.
Alcatel-Lucent is under pressure not to cut jobs in France as it lowers its cost base and slims down its portfolio: Transferring staff to a partner will at least guarantee those employees continued employment, which AlcaLu may not have been able to provide. (See Euronews: French Fury at AlcaLu Layoffs .)
— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading