Alcatel Lucent opens a Bell Lab in Cambridge

Networking innovator Alcatel Lucent has announced the opening of a new ‘antenna’ (i.e. small) office of its Bell Labs R&D arm in Cambridge. The role of antenna offices is to focus on one major industry issue, in this case realtime cloud video delivery.

At a launch event in west London Marcus Weldon, President of Bell Labs and CTO of Alcatel Lucent, stressed the importance of optimizing the delivery of cloud video to mobile devices in the future evolution of the mobile industry.

The reason Cambridge was chosen as the new hub for Bell Labs’ research into this matter was a combination of the local talent available and the broad range of video delivery and business models in play in the UK.

The Cambridge office will be run by Bo Olofsson, who was previously a director of the product research group at BSkyB. “As consumer and enterprise user behaviour evolves and appetite to produce and consume video continues to grow it is placing huge demands on the network and forcing a need for change – coming from a provider I have first-hand experience of these challenges – and we are going to research new ways to support that demand.”

“Work at the Bell Labs location in Cambridge will focus on one of the big problems that is facing the industry today,” said Weldon. “The massive growth in the generation and demand for video-centric content is creating one of the biggest issues for our customers as they evolve their networks. Bo Olofsson’s team will work closely with the IP Video team to solve these issues with solutions that optimize video-centric delivery and network capabilities that ensure high quality even as demand explodes.”

The Cambridge office is the second antenna facility Bell Labs has opened this year, with a cloud research facility having been unveiled in May. There will be another one opened later this year, most likely in the US. With video currently accounting for three quarters of typical mobile network traffic, and rising, it’s easy to see why Alcatel Lucent considers this matter to be a priority.

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