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Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcomm Strike up Small Cell Partnership

Tue, 07/30/2013 - 10:43am
Ben Munson

Alcatel-Lucent and Qualcomm Technologies have agreed to a partnership in developing small cell technology. Reuters reports the deal is worth approximately $133 million in research funding.

According to a press release, the two companies plan to jointly invest in a strategic R&D program to develop the next generation of Alcatel-Lucent lightRadio small cell products. The new units will feature Qualcomm Technologies' family of small cell chipsets. The investment would be shared by Alcatel-Lucent and Qualcomm Technologies. Both companies are hoping the partnership will speed the adoption of small cell technology, which some U.S. carriers have already begun deploying.

Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes said in the release that the Qualcomm partnership marks a step toward his company’s ‘Shift Plan,’ which will see Alcatel-Lucent investing heavily in growing and emerging technologies.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said in the release that small cells play a big role in his company’s “1000x” vision for network enhancement over the next ten years.

News of the partnership accompanied Alcatel-Lucent’s second-quarter earnings, the first full quarter under Combes. The infrastructure company beat analyst estimates on sales of $4.78 billion, up 1.9 percent quarterly.

Qualcomm last week reported its third-quarter earnings, boasting a net income of $1.58 billion that represented a 31-percent jump annually.

Earlier this year, Qualcomm helped test enhanced Inter-Cell Interference Coordination (eICIC) technology within SK Telecom’s LTE-Advanced network. eICIC is a crucial feature in LTE-Advanced deployment that allows small cells to boost range and capacity.

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