Alcatel-Lucent is one of the world's biggest industry players in telecommunications that provides hardware, software, and services to Service Providers, Enterprises and Industry & Public Sector customers all over the globe. The company is incorporated in France and has its headquarters at rue de la Boétie in Paris. The company does business in more than 130 countries, with almost equal sales distribution coming from both its European and North American regions, and an additional third of its channel located elsewhere in the world. Alcatel-Lucent was formed after Alcatel merged with Lucent Technologies on December 1, 2006.
In 1991 CGE changed its name to Alcatel Alsthom, and in 1998 to Alcatel .
There were a number of mergers and acquisitions, as well as divestments since 1898. To understand the current company and its focus on telecommunications, the most important were the acquisition of the European telecommunications activities of ITT in 1986. The combined companies were called Alcatel Alsthom. Alcatel maintains significant R&D presence in France (Paris region, Brittany, South of France), Antwerp (Belgium), at the former ITT operations there (Bell Telephone), in Stuttgart (Germany), in Italy (Vimercate, Genoa, Rieti, Battipaglia), in India (Gurgaon, NOIDA and Chennai), since 2000 in Shanghai (China) and since 2005 in Saint-Petersburg (Russia).
Since 1990, various North American companies were acquired – Spatial Wireless, Rockwell Technologies, DSC Communications, Xylan, Packet Engines, Assured Access, Newbridge, iMagicTV, TiMetra, and eDial – giving Alcatel a strong U.S. and Canadian presence. Alcatel has its North American headquarters in Plano, Texas, and R&D operations in Ottawa, Mountain View, California, Petaluma, California, Saint John, New Brunswick, Calabasas, California, Murray, Utah ,and Raleigh, North Carolina.
Early in 2006, Alcatel setup a new joint venture with TCL of China forming a new mobile business, TCL and Alcatel Mobile Phones Limited (TAMP).
On October 7, 2008, Alcatel-Lucent completed its acquisition of Motive Inc., a publicly traded service automation software company.
Alcatel-Lucent is also a world leader in point-to-point microwave radios and wireless transmission; with over 50 years expertise and over 17% of the global market share in 2005. It has a field-proven experience in deploying and managing wireless transmission networks and 2G, 2.5G, and 3G mobile backhauling.
Alcatel-Lucent has several notable non-carrier-based businesses. It has a Industries & Public Sector division that provides communication solutions for railway and mass transit operators, such as country-wide optical networks in United Kingdom, Belgium, Switzerland, city underground networks in Paris, Berlin, Beijing, Shanghai, etc.
On April 2, 2006, Alcatel and Lucent Technologies announced a merger. The combined company, Alcatel-Lucent, was expected to have revenues of approximately $25 billion U.S. based on 2005 calendar results.
On February 8, 2008, Alcatel-Lucent posting a $3.74 billion fourth-quarter loss and canceled its 2007 dividend, after taking a writedown of more than $3 billion on its U.S. wireless business. Analysts suggested that Alcatel shareholders had overpaid for Lucent. Continued poor results in 2008 led to the ouster of chairman Serge Tchuruk and CEO Patricia Russo.
Lucent Technologies filed suit against Gateway and Dell, claiming they had violated patents on MP3, MPEG and other technologies developed by Bell Labs, a division of predecessor company American Telephone & Telegraph. Microsoft voluntarily joined the lawsuit in April 2003, and Alcatel was added after it acquired Lucent. The case, involving a number of patents, is pending in U.S. District Court in San Diego, California.
The first part of the case involved two audio coding patents that Alcatel-Lucent claimed were infringed by Microsoft's Windows Media Player application. Alcatel-Lucent won the trial and $1.52 Billion in damages, but the Judge granted Microsoft's motion for judgment and new trial., Alcatel-Lucent says it will appeal.
In the second part of the case, the Judge ruled that Microsoft had not violated Alcatel-Lucent's patents relating to speech recognition and the case was therefore dismissed before going to trial. Alcatel-Lucent intends to appeal.
The third part of the case involves several user interface-related patents, is scheduled to begin on May 21.
Additional patent infringement cases, some filed by Microsoft and some filed by Alcatel-Lucent, are pending across the U.S..
In mid-2008, Alcatel's contact for maintenance of the Costa Rican GSM network was revoked by ICE due to repeated failure of Alcatel to meet its contractual obligations. The network has never performed to specification.
The logo vaguely represents A and L which stand for Alcatel and Lucent and also symbolizes infinity. According to their website, "It symbolizes infinity. It implies movement. Its colour combines the stability of blue with the energy of red".