Alcatel is boosting its commitment to telecommunications research with the launch last Friday of its $10 million Intelligent Networks (IN) Centre of Expertise.
The centre adds 40 new people to the company, with the R&D headcount expected to rise to 100 by the end of 1999.
Alcatel reports its R&D effort is focused on developing the technology behind services such as intelligent call routing, allowing calls to follow a user to any fixed or mobile phone around the world.
According to a company spokesperson, Alcatel is moving to divert up to 20 per cent of its sales to R&D, with the company now running six research centres throughout the world.
"This centre will be servicing the Asia/Pacific region," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said the company provides carriers with the ability to make their IT services open, and move away from proprietary technologies. Alcatel's centre was officially opened by NSW Premier Bob Carr, who said in a statement: "This is a key foundation for Australia's answer to an IT&T 'Silicon Valley'."