Alcatel-Lucent looks to the future

Last updated 05:00 06/06/2011
James McInroe
ANDREW GORRIE/The Dominion Post

ORACLE: Alcatel-Lucent Solution Marketing Manager James McInroe with the company's time capsule, which contains technological predictions.

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Alcatel-Lucent staffer James McInroe fills a time capsule at the company's new Wellington headquarters in Manners Street with his own technology prediction; that personal commerce will be completely transacted online when the capsule is opened in 10 years' time.

"The storefront will be a window-shopping experience where we will touch and see the products," he explains.

"However, we will transact the purchase from the comfort of the couch over the internet – yes, the internet will still be there – more than likely via an e-bidding process to get the lowest price."

The telecommunications equipment giant runs Telecom's existing fixed and mobile networks and is a contender to provide much of the equipment for the ultrafast broadband (UFB) network. Alcatel-Lucent said the new office housed 419 staff, including 335 technology experts working on projects such as the UFB initiative. It has been designed for flexible working. Staff clear their desks each night so they can sit at a new desk each day, to encourage mingling.

Showers and changing and storage rooms have been upgraded to encourage staff to bike, scooter or jog to work.

Alcatel-Lucent Asia-Pacific president Rajeev Singh-Molares said New Zealand's UFB scheme and Australia's National Broadband Network were unique for countries of their type and among the most ambitious of 24 government-backed schemes to encourage fibre-to-the-premises, but he believed the UFB network could be built on schedule by 2019.

The company's relationship with Telecom had had its "ups and downs", which included winning wide-ranging network outsourcing contracts in 2003 and well-publicised problems with Telecom's XT network last year.

Mr Singh-Molares believed Alcatel-Lucent was at an advantage helping Chorus roll out the UFB network as last quarter it was the world's largest supplier of fibre-optic access equipment and it "knew the country well".

"I don't think Chorus will select one vendor to build the end-to-end network. They will have multiple vendors for elements of the network."

But he questioned whether it would need multiple vendors for each component. He was in Wellington to open the office, visit "the troops" and signal "commitment, interest and support to all of the players in getting this ambitious programme done". Photo: ANDREW GORRIE

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- The Dominion Post

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