Lucent to chop local R&D group

Lucent Technologies will virtually close down the local data networking division of its research and development arm,Bell Labs, at the end of September.

The move will see 27 of the 35-strong data networking division staff shown the door, while the labs' wireless researchand development groups will remain unaffected, according to Lucent spokesperson, Luisa Megale.

Megale denied claims that the company would be shutting down its entire R&D facility, instead citing the suspension ofcertain product lines as the reason behind the reduction of staff at Bell Labs.

"There's a lot of product overlap," she said. "Part of our global restructuring is just to streamline all of ourproduct portfolio."

The move is the latest in a continuing barrage of bad news for Lucent. Earlier in the year it announced that it wouldcut 10,000 staff worldwide, while locally, 200 heads rolled in June as plans to rollout a $650 million GSM network forfailed junior telco, One.Tel, came to a halt. Lucent spinoffs Agere Systems and Avaya were also not immune to the axe,with both companies laying off 1000 and 3000 staff respectively from their global operations over the last couple ofmonths. To cap the rocky phase for the company, its stock was thrown on the "junk" pile by Standard & Poors.

Lucent will be announcing its quarterly results tonight, via Webcast, at 11pm AEST.

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