Hot on the heels of glowing fourth quarter results, Lucent Technologies Thursday unveiled
plans to enter into a $2 billion, five-year agreement with WinStar Communications, to develop
WinStar’s wireless broadband network.
Lucent will provide the technology, network design, integration and
buildout services and the majority of the communications hardware and
software for WinStar’s network.
In addition, Lucent will provide up to $2 billion in equipment
financing to fund what it is calling the world’s first global
end-to-end broadband network.
Through WinStar’s Wireless Fiber services, the network is to offer
customers with a single, reliable
source of local and long distance phone service and high speed data,
Internet and information services. Lucent will provide the necessary
flexible, scalable architecture to support WinStar’s current and future
voice and data service offerings. WinStar will also continue
to operate and maintain final design authority for its network.
WinStar said the Lucent agreement gives it additional resources to complete
national deployment of its wireless broadband network by the end of 1999.
The company said the network buildout is ahead of schedule. The services
will be offered immediately in 40 of the nation’s largest cities. The
additional $2 billion in Lucent financing will also allow it to expand on
an international basis.
WinStar plans to incorporate a national fixed wireless broadband local
network which will be integrated with an optical network using Lucent’s
80-channel dense wave division multiplexing
(DWDM) optical networking equipment. Lucent’s WaveStar OLS 400G will be
employed to boost the capacity of fiber optic networks. The network
solution will also implement Lucent’s 5ESS AnyMedia switch and the AnyMedia
Access FAST digital loop carrier. Lucent will also supply PortMaster
Internet protocol remote access technology, remote access concentrators and
network management software.
“This is a defining
moment for WinStar,” said William J. Rouhana, Jr., chairman and chief
executive officer of WinStar. “Lucent’s major commitment of expertise and
financing, combined with the overwhelming speed-to-market and cost
advantages of WinStar’s business model, clearly propels us to
the top of the competitive local exchange carrier industry. With Lucent’s
network knowledge behind us, we are positioned to be the first competitive
carrier to create a nearly ubiquitous end-to-end broadband network in the
top 100 world markets.