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Lucent Extends European Tendrils

Speaking at the annual CeBIT electronics fair in Hannover, Germany, Lucent Technologies CEO Patricia Russo said the severe decline in the global telecommunications sector may be turning around. On Tuesday, Lucent also announced ten business partnerships with European companies with potential value of more than $220 million.

While Russo tried to dispel the gloom in the telecom sector, she also clearly demonstrated how difficult the market has become. She said that capital expenditures fell by 48 percent in 2002, and will probably drop by 10 to 15 percent this year. But she did say China and India constitute two potentially huge, and growing, markets.

But Europe was the focus on Tuesday as Lucent displayed some of its new technology and network hardware at CeBIT one of the biggest deals with Deutsche Telekom for a new high-speed data transmission network that will utilize Ethernet-over-optical technology.

Lucent issued a raft of press releases disclosing details of business partnerships with ten different business partners to provide European telecommunications providers with an array of equipments and services. The company has been under intense pressure from analysts and shareholders to deliver some good, after a disastrous downturn in its business, leading to its share price to fall well under $2 per share.

Lucent did not provide many financial details of its European deals, but the signings mark the company making strides to revive its sales in the global telecommunications market.

But while at CeBIT, Lucent demonstrated a variety of high-speed data services that work on a 3G UMTS Network. Lucent showed up the services with T-Mobile and other German wireless vendors HSB Systemhaus and HOB. The demonstrations for business customers showed how companies can access applications, retrieve software updates from either a corporate intranet, or directly from the Internet, using extremely fast data services using 3G UMTS technology.

Lucent said it is working with Arcor, the second largest broadband provider in Germany. Arcor said its DSL service is utilizing Lucent's AnyMedia Access System. Arcor said it has more than 50,00 customers, up from 30,000 at the end of 2002, pointing to a rapid adoption of broadband DSL Internet service in Germany. Lucent's AnyMedia solution provides both broadband voice and data traffic, while other infrastructure and ADSL modems from Lucent have improve the speed and efficiency of Arcor's broadband network.

In addition to its focus on the German market, Lucent also said it has concluded contracts at CeBIT with not only Deutsche Telekom, but also BT's optical networks in the Netherlands, T-Systems, Czech Telecom, Telekomunikacja Polska, COLT Telecom and T-Systems France.