Another European Carrier Embraces 3G

KPN Mobile has become the latest carrier to invest in third-generation technology, announcing a multi-million-dollar contract award to Lucent Technologies this morning.

The Dutch wireless firm will use hardware and software from Lucent’s NaviCore and Navis lines to boost the speed and bandwidth of its network, allowing it to easily introduce new data services.

KPN Mobile has 13.4 million subscribers in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany (including its subsidiaries, E-Plus and BASE).

“They are a customer of long standing and we are working with them on a variety of projects,” Emily Baxter, a spokeswoman for Lucent’s overseas operations told

Baxter declined to give more specifics and a spokesman for KPN was not immediately available for comment.

Christin Armacost, a telecom analyst at SG Cowen, said yesterday that she expects data networking firms, including Lucent, to meet or exceed third quarter guidance and continue momentum into the fourth quarter, in part because of wireless infrastructure orders from carriers.

Greatly expected to usher in an era of new, high-tech communication, 3G has yet to catch fire and ignite to be the revenue generator industry analysts anticipated it would be a few years ago.

But there are signs that the technology is gaining momentum. Just yesterday, Lucent customer Verizon Wireless announced the availability of 3G service in the Washington, D.C. area.

Several deals have also recently been closed in Europe. For example, earlier this month, mobile carrier Orange reached agreements with three telecom equipment suppliers to build out part of its European 3G network.

The subsidiary of France Telecom chose Alcatel, Nortel Networks and Nokia for gear and services associated with the upgrade.

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