RealTime IT News

Alcatel Scores Big in Asian Pacific

Broadband's big, overseas anyways, just ask Parisian Internet equipment manufacturer Alcatel officials announced Monday they had signed a contract extension with an Australian telecommunications carrier after netting big contracts with Chinese carriers last week.

Telstra, the incumbent telephone company in Australia, is expanding on its existing three-year contract with Alcatel to supply the new Alcatel 7300 Advanced Services Access Manager (ASAM), which officials said supports video-on-demand and reduces power consumption by the carrier. The ASAM also allows DSL users to auto-configure their DSL modem.

Last week the company announced it would expand its digital subscriber line (DSL) contract from 80,000 to 360,000 with Zhjiang Telecom, a provincial telecom in China, for an undisclosed amount.

China is a hotspot for broadband these days, and is expected to become even more popular for equipment manufacturers in the coming months. China Telecom, the government-owned nationwide telephone company, is expected to announce the third-largest initial public offering (IPO) in history in the near future.

It's likely the Chinese telecom will use the monies generated by the IPO to fund a massive countrywide network rollout next year. On Wednesday, Alcatel announced it would supply 62,000 miles of fiber optic line to support two network backbones -- one between Shanghai, Nanjing and Hanzhou, and the other between Wuhan and Nanjing for the carrier.

George Hendre, Alcatel vice president of broadband products, couldn't help but boast at the broadband boost its company has seen the past quarter. The company said its equipment passed 20 million homes in the third quarter, four times the amount of its competitors.

Hendre said success in the Asian-Pacific region had a lot to do with that success.

"We have a good position in the Chinese market and do very well (there)," he said. "It's encouraging, because its all diverging and confirming in our mind that broadband seems to be the bright area of the telecom world and that Alcatel will be a dominant player in that area."

According to Point-Topic, a research company that compiles DSL statistics from around the world, China amassed more than 200,000 DSL customers in the first half of 2002. Not nearly as successful as the U.S., which captured 890,000 new subscribers, or top-ranked Japan, which netted 1.8 million DSL customers in 2002 so far.

China is expected to continue its 50 percent growth rate into the second half of 2002. The country, mostly rural in nature, is speeding up its technological evolution to help support the 2008 Olympics, which will be held in China's capital, Beijing.