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Cisco, Lucent Target Mobile Carriers

Targeting wireless carriers, Cisco Systems has signed Lucent Technologies as a reseller for some of its Internet protocol equipment.

The multi-year, non-exclusive deal, includes Cisco packet data and media gateway products, which help mobile carriers provide Internet, intranet and extranet access, deploy new data services and manage traffic on current and future networks.

"The combination of these . . . products with Lucent's mobile wireless infrastructure solutions will help mobile operators deliver profitable, new mobile services and reduce operating expenses," said Dan Scheinman, a Cisco senior vice president.

Financial terms of the pact were not disclosed, however, some analysts believe the partnership is smart.

"This is a significant move by Cisco to further improve its position in the carrier market," telecom analysts at Deutsche Bank (DB)said in a note to investors.

DB noted that the Lucent agreement comes a month after San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco inked a deal to sell gear to SBC Communications, which is in the midst of a network upgrade.

For Lucent, the agreement will bolster its equipment offerings for mobile carriers, especially for data gear, a projected growth area.

Meanwhile, Lucent posted its eleventh straight quarterly loss in result announced this morning. Excluding one-time charges, the Murray Hill, N.J.-based company posted a first-quarter loss of $264 million.

The number, however, was better than analysts expected. In addition, Lucent forecast rising revenues in the quarters to come despite continued softness in the market. It also reaffirmed that it will return to profitability in fiscal 2003 by controlling expenses and signing new deals.