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.

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