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Alcatel Lands Vietnam Contracts

French telecom equipment maker Alcatel has won two multi-million-dollar contracts from Vietnam Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (VNPT), the company announced today. The exact value was not disclosed.

The pacts were inked in conjunction with French President Jacques Chirac's visit to Hanoi this week. While there, he pledged support for Vietnam (a former French colony) to join the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Alcatel CEO Serge Tchuruk is reportedly among a group of French executives accompanying Chirac on a trip to Asia to try and expand trade with that country.

Under the terms of the VNPT deals, Alcatel will deploy its switching system to help it expand its wireline service in five provinces. The work is expected to be completed by mid-2005.

Alcatel will also provide VNPT's wireless subsidiary with the infrastructure to expand network capacity in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to prepare for wireless broadband data transmission.

"Alcatel will continue helping VNPT deploy truly convergent broadband networks and deliver the right set of User-Centric Broadband applications to end-users," Pierre Cascarino, Alcatel's chief representative in Vietnam, said in a statement.

The agreements follow VNPT's contract to deploy Alcatel's Voice over IP and multimedia network solutions in the Research Institute of Posts and Telecommunications (RIPT) in order to trial services.

Alcatel, which competes with Cisco , Nortel , Lucent and others, established a presence in Vietnam in 1987 and has been working with VNPT since 1989, the company said.