We speak to Glenn Booth, VP of wireless portfolio & strategy at Alcatel-Lucent, about winning last year’s Broadband InfoVision Award for ‘Best Broadband Access – Wireless’ for the lightRadio solutions portfolio.
Can you bring us up to speed on where development of the lightRadio portfolio is now?
We are thrilled with the progress we have made with lightRadio and its three pillars of LTE, small cells and cloud architecture.
In terms of the progress that we have made in the market, the LTE lightRadio solution is shipping today, we have 38 LTE wins around the world, so a lot of these are service providers that are leading the market in LTE, including the biggest networks in the world like Verizon and AT&T.
We have customers in Europe who are starting to move more aggressively, including Orange, and we have really a dominant position with the two biggest builds that will happen in 2013 for LTE with Sprint and China Mobile.
So it’s been an exciting time for us, we’ve got excellent traction with our lightRadio small cells portfolio as well, which has won more than 50 customers to date, and a lot of those are with new customers, so we are seeing that adoption rate continue to steadily increase.
That adoption rate is being fuelled by the lightRadio product portfolio, on which we have driven a number of new products to market in the past 12 months, such as baseband products, wideband radios, an IP management system.
On small cells we have continued to add new band classes, new form factors, from enterprise and our metro portfolio in particular.
In what ways has winning the Broadband InfoVision award helped raise lightRadio’s profile?
It’s been important for us, third-party validation of lightRadio has really been very good across the industry.
We have won more than 20 industry awards in the short time since we launched lightRadio, and winning the Broadband InfoVision Award is really an honour.
We take it as a strong proof point recognising that the innovative vision that we have for the mobile broadband market is actually being realised in our product deliveries and in our market traction.
This really reinforces our image and our identity in the marketplace as an innovator in mobile broadband.
What has been the most surprising feedback you have had from winning the award?
The feedback has been reassurance from our customers that we’re innovating and delivering our products. We went out with a big vision 18 months ago with lightRadio, and are seeing this really now as a real proof point that we have delivered against that vision.
That’s been very important for us and it’s reinforced the idea that we have for the market that as we develop the next generation of infrastructure with LTE and small cells, it gives operators this unique ability to drive multimedia services that they can use to win in their markets and really differentiate against their competition.
So that feedback loop has been very positive for us as a result of the awards.
How do you plan to further improve the portfolio this year?
If you look at the strength that we’ve had, it’s been really focused on having success with the first movers and those that want to win in their markets by deploying next-generation broadband – and that’s at the heart of lightRadio.
So that’s high-speed data, high capacity for LTE and for small cells, and it’s those that want to deploy in a decisive manner, which means a complete deployment versus a complement to what they already have in their network.
So if you take that into account for our lightRadio portfolio plans, we will be dramatically adding capacity to our new BBUs, so that we can support the data explosion and success that our biggest customers have had with LTE.
We will also have a strong emphasis in terms of broadcast and carrier aggregation, and also voice over LTE, which we believe is going to be tremendously important to carriers that are driving this new world of voice and data blended together.
We will continue to drive the completion of our small cells lightRadio portfolio so that we can augment this capacity, there is an almost infinite number of bands that we are getting demand for from our customers, as well as different form factors.
So we will be increasing the completeness of our portfolio and using that as a complement of the macro portion of lighRadio through the remainder of 2013.
The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.
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