Alcatel, Fujitsu form JV for 3G mobile systems

Alcatel and Fujitsu have agreed to form a joint venture to develop, manufacture and market mobile systems for third-generation (3G) wireless networks, the two companies announced yesterday.

The yet-to-be-named joint company will be majority-owned by the French telecommunications equipment maker, which will hold a 66 percent stake, while Tokyo-based Fujitsu will own the remaining 34 percent of the shares, Alcatel and Fujitsu said in a joint statement.

Further financial details were not available.

The new company, which will have more than 2,000 engineers, will focus on delivering a deployment-ready UMTS (universal mobile telecommunications system) offering by the first half of 2001, the companies said.

Fujitsu will contribute to the venture the UMTS experience it has gained from working with NTT DoCoMo, according to the statement. The Japanese mobile carrier is expected to roll out the world's first commercial 3G mobile services beginning in May next year.

Alcatel, in turn, will bring to the company its experience in GSM (global system for mobile communications), ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) and IP (Internet Protocol).

Alcatel will have primary responsibility for distributing the joint venture's products in Europe, while Fujitsu will oversee sales efforts in Japan, the companies said.

In addition, Alcatel and Fujitsu said that they also plan to deepen their cooperation in 3G core networks and terminals to be able to supply customers an end-to-end range of products.

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