Alcatel-Lucent cuts 100 Australian staff

Ten per cent culled from local offices due to NBN uncertainty

Alcatel-Lucent has cut 100 staff from its Australian operations, citing an uncertain telecommunications industry.

The decision - amounting to nearly ten per cent of its local employees - came at the same time as the company announced an $85 million deal with NBN Co to supply gigabit passive optical network (GPON) and Ethernet aggregation equipment for the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The Australian branch of the company dropped 200 staff last October, at the time also pointing to uncertainty in the sector.

A spokesperson said the company was “currently reviewing costs and rebalancing workforce requirements for the second half of 2010” but that it would not “impact our delivery capability”.

“This year we need to respond to uncertainty over a number of previous years across the Australian telecommunications market, as we all get ready for the opportunities and growth ahead,” they said in an email.

Australiasia chief technical officer, Ric Clark, recently told Computerworld Australia the local telecommunications industry was largely held in check by NBN Co and the rollout of the NBN.

“Things are pretty tight at the moment,” he said. “We're battening down the hatches for the moment in anticipation of something finally happening with the NBN.

“The only people that are really hiring in our industry is NBN Co itself, they've got a real mixed bag of people out of virtually all of the vendors and a number of the telcos.”

Some of that uncertainty is partially derived from whether the NBN rollout will continue under future governments. The Opposition has already promised to scrap the project but is yet to outline an alternative broadband plan.

While the effect was uncertainty, Clark said the NBN would continue to provide a “net benefit to the industry”.

The company posted a €515 million ($735 million) loss globally for the first quarter of 2010, with its networks segment hit hardest at 13.1 per cent loss.

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So where was the clause in the NBN contract that stated they had to employ a certain amount of people, or keep current levels, to win the contract in the first place? Time to send a hatchet man throu the departments Julia.... damn bureaucrats.....



There were three bidders on this contract, one of the loosers is about to "return to there home country", also retrenching a few hundred telco engineers. Problem is rudd/labour has farted around for three years without doing anything. The contract with telstra is still 12 months off...thus all the local suppliers have been unable to sell equipment for 3+ years...they are running out of money and starting to fail... But they cannot complain, else the govenment/nbn will not give them any contract.

The companies are going bust but for fear of looseing future contracts cannot speek out... very bad for the country as a whole.



the correct number is somewhere between 140 and 150



To be really clear, after the job cuts of about 140, the chief from Paris will announce about 10 top local ALU AU people replacements - country head, hr and business unit managers. This is for real.



These job cuts are just a tip of the iceberg. As i ve seen in the last 15 yeas, the NBN chief is basically a firefighter on the ground; he is good at extinguishing burning fires for quick and instant applause. When it comes to long view on benefits, strategy, industry vision and talent development/retention, he pays lip service. He was the maim man behind disasterous Alcatel Lucent merger. He failed to get top spot in the new ALU. In NBN, it is all about getting political tractìon. This nbn with its chief is set on the path to eliminate technically talented people from Australia and get low cost goods and services from BRIC nations. THIS IS THE BASIC TENET behind 43b expenditure.

D Newman


For a longTimeTelcomObserver you sure did miss the the glaring fact the NBN isnt 43billion dollars, that was proven to be incorrect quite some time ago now, figure is around 30 billion over 8 years with that figure adjusted for revenue stream in that time period.
And seeing as that revenue stream now inculdes all of the migrated Telstra base, the figures are at worst 10 billion spent/owing at 8 year point, or predicted break even at 10 year point.

These are the latest figures/guess work which are no more invalid as the now discredited 43 billion, or 47 billion which was the first figure.

However without a busisness plan in the public domain who knows, and I sure as hell know you dont.



47, 43, 30, 10, 8 and some new billion figures!The NBN cost is shifting as the negotiations are being worked on. However, these numbers could possibly become better or even worse in future in the evolving technology and political landscape. The point is that the labour party is in tatters and nbn will not influence the outcome in the next election because the labour party has no credibility in delivering on any of its nation building programs as seen since the last election. NBN, like a pawn in a chess game, will be surely sacrificed. This projection only highlights the plight of many dedicated Telecom professionals who will retire prematurely.

D Newman


@LongTimeTelecomObserver that is your observation and opinion, and I do agree in part.
However where I work we are experiencing the exact flip side of your view.
Any contract chasing is a polictical minefield to some degree, and the bigger the contract the more you have to step up and put stuff on the line, and if you fail or there is delays then its going to hurt.
This is no more or no less than the same old same old on a large contract, and they dont come much larger than this, I have known some companies pin every last hope of getting into large contract and go bust in the effort.

There is a new suburb that is now the top edge of Perth metro we have been dicked around for 2 years over that site, from change of plans, change of leadership and polictical interference, so that rather shows in a micro enviorment how this goes in the normal small contract.

So I fail to see how the NBN is any more of a polictical drama queen then any other government contract EVER, and that also applies the rule of scale.

Plus if a company is lacking diversity in its locality where it cant shuffle staff numbers around, or forms an office purely on the back of what ifs and maybe's then what the heck do you expect, those people that were let go, need to look at other companies that are already working within the NBN, or have the diversity to manage low points.

And my last point, despite the usual spin of the skies falling in and were all doomed, where does it say anyway that the NBN is behind on build time, according to the script we are working to, we(ISP Contractor) are now ahead timeline wise with the injection of 6 million k,s of fibre, Tasmania was on time, and the regional backhauls are all on time.
(On time is +/- 6 months as is normal factored in contract slack, as highlighted by the + 6 month penalty clauses).

So credibilty wise the NBN should go down in history as the only project despite large scale blocking attempts and interfence that has gone well for this government, and I am saying that as a none labour supporter.

Gone well? I hear some of you gasp, well it has in the sense its going to get built for far less than projected, and stuff is actualy happening, so a big bonus to ANY government large project.

D Newman


And if that appears overly cranky, well its 20 mins till end of a long Sat night shift, 6.42 Sunday morning and dont know if its the cold weather but servers have been tetchy and by default so am I.



I share your optimism and enthusiam. Also I do agree with the dynamics professionals need to adapt to if the contracts do not come through or do not come through in terms of the expected size. I agree and support you.



Dear LTT and Newman, why be worried about the size of the contract? we do have Mr M Kaiser @$450k p.a looking after engagement with the government, just go to him, he will sort all out for you?
Newman,do you think the NBN as announced by the government is going to be built as spruiked by Conroy three years ago!

Do you think the new PM, will pull some money back? given mining negs are not going to produce the revenue that is targeted for other programs such as tax cuts etc?

The Telstra $11bill will be faster outgoing from the government that incoming offset revenue coming in! and is it still $43bill + Telstra's $11bill ?or is it $32bill+

Perhaps we should look at the business plan!

D Newman


(sigh) Raymond....
And how many times have you asked the same question, and how many times have you recieved replies, your doom and gloom drumbeat is losing its tempo, if your company is not a fictious construct, was it affected by the NBN and its time table, does this explain all the swearing and name calling you did in the early days of your gestalt exsistance.

Migration onto the NBN part offsets the 11 billion, that was the point of paying Telstra the customer bounty so to speak...But why give you details, rather than investigate in depth and ask questions or post replies to further everyones knowledge, you make the same statements time and time again dressed as a question..
Raymond I see nothing has changed even when you play fictious other personna's and have the gall to insult everyone's intelligence by suggesting its someone you know.

But I will continue to play your game as it is good in a way to highlight other issues, not for your benifit, you will ask again the same thing later, maybe as Raymond or as someone else from your mythical office, I believe your office cleaner hasnt piped in yet with a query, under the name SirLegalMOPalot.

In fact you highlighted the fact that NBN costs are now going to be alot lower due to the double bite of the apple, of which the 11 billion was the payment, also not in one lump.

The Telstra migration of customer base is bite one, 6 million km,s of dark fibre and private use fibre is a HUGE bite 2, and the leasing of the ducts and pits should in no way be under estimated in its impact, at worse the 11 billion is directly off set or falls just under, so hardly changing the revised figures, or best obviously lowers further, and that has been much discussed by many many sources of late, and the majority busisness/analysts are in a rough concensus on that issue.

Now all this information I am repeating from various sources, not just one, from within the Telco industry, yet again I am finding it comical that you RAymond are asking these question that you can source yourself, seeing as you run a company within that sphere.

If you cant gleen information from within the Telco industry, the same as Raymond, look up the Greens page on the NBM they have been doing their own updated break down, some of the info is a bit out, but its still a good informative read, it would appear they have a few IT savy people, also listed below== is a good site for linking personalties to what news.

And trying to link Mining to the NBN is just lame, but I will place yet another bet with you Raymond after all you lost the last one.
There will be a Telstra-esque deal done with the miners on tax...So shall we say double or nothing.



I had an Alcatel phone twice....
Best looking mobile in the office - with the performance of two tins connected by string. Second stupid thing I did - bought an Alcatel system for home (I'm a sucker for a good looking phone set). Luckily the store gladly took it back the next day in exchange for a system that actually worked and didn't sound like a 78rpm spoken record with someone frying bacon in the background.



Election date is announced and minister Conroy (synonymous with nbn and his bird-brained filter) is in hiding ie nbn is losing its weightage in the campaigning of labour's policies. Might hear something in the coming weeks, until then this topic is on the back burner.
My final view: Australia needs telecom business leaders but not any locally (Australian) based telecom professionals.
I will be off to Europe.




D Newman


Soooooo LTT you have written everything off and done no research, as highlighted by the off to Europe comment, they are bleeding IT and Telco people while here there is some growth.

So to recap, as your teddy flew out of the cot, you decided to jump from a frying pan that was mildly warm, into a fire that is recession hit Europe...Way to go Einstien

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UPDATED: Which NBN plan is best?