February 18, 2009 / 11:01 AM / 10 years ago

MOBILE FAIR-UPDATE 2-Verizon picks Alcatel-Lucent for network

* Verizon names key LTE infrastructure vendors

* Says Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson to upgrade radio network

* NSN, Starent to also provide LTE infrastructure

(Rewrites, ads quotes)

BARCELONA, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Verizon (VZ.N) has picked long-term supplier Alcatel-Lucent ALUA.PA as a key vendor for a new multi-billion dollar high-speed wireless network, one of the first such in the world,

Verizon unveiled suppliers for its Long Term Evolution (LTE) network at the Mobile World Congress trade show in on Wednesday.

LTE is an emerging technology that promises to make mobile Web surfing about four times faster. There is increasing urgency worldwide for faster wireless networks as growing demand for mobile data is driven by smartphones and embedded laptops.

Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Britain’s Vodafone (VOD.L), is the largest operator to date to commit to LTE, following Japan’s NTT DoCoMo (9437.T) last year.

Sweden’s Ericsson (ERICb.ST) would be the second supplier for radio network equipment, while Nokia Siemens Networks [NSN.UL] would be the second supplier for IMS technology — which enables multimedia services.

Starent Networks STAR.O, together with Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson, would provide core network technology, Verizon said.

“The relevance is much more important for Nortel and Motorola, which have not been selected,” said Thomas Langer, analyst with WestLB.

“It is up to Alcatel-Lucent to drive the LTE business forward, but we think the competition will be very fierce.”

Analysts had expected Verizon to choose Alcatel-Lucent as a key LTE infrastructure vendor since it is already a major supplier to the venture.

“It is a validation that we have a solid portfolio,” Philippe Keryer, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s Carrier Product Group, told Reuters.

“It’s putting us in a pretty good position in the new technology. It is giving a good momentum and a good start,” Keryer said, adding the firm was in talks with several operators about deployment of LTE networks.

Ericsson had also been named as one the top contenders. (Reporting by Niclas Mika and Tarmo Virki in Barcelona, Matt Gil in Paris; Editing by Hans Peters and Dan Lalor)

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