Lucent Buys Wireless Network Software Firm

Looking to tap into the demand among wireless and cellular network operators for tools to design and manage their systems, Lucent Technologies Inc. has acquired software vendor, WatchMark.

Lucent's New Ventures Group purchased WatchMark from MediaOne International, in a deal announced today. Terms of the deal were not released.

WatchMark, which develops software for designing, managing, and optimizing wireless networks, will be merged with the portion of Lucent's Wireless Networks Group that develops wireless network performance management software, according to Lucent officials.

The resulting entity, WatchMark Corp., will be based in Bellevue, Wash., and headed by president and CEO Steve Roberts. WatchMark, which has roughly 90 employees, will grow substantially in 1999, according to Roberts, who declined to provide specific staffing projections.

The company's products include WatchMark Pilot, a network decision-support application; WatchMark Design Radio Frequency, a design and optimization tool; WatchMark Control, network mediation software for integrating a variety of network devices and systems; and WatchMark Extreme, a Web-based decision-support system, according to company officials.

By offering a suite of tools covering design, management, and decision-support software, WatchMark boasts the ability to speed the deployment of networks, and improve response times in trouble-shooting traffic and customer service problems, Roberts said.

The software 's data gathering and reporting reach extends from high-level configuration and performance data through detailed technical information, he noted.

Lucent Wireless Networks Group will include the decision-support software with its products.

The acquisition resulted from Lucent's search for a replacement of its own network performance software, according to Roberts, who noted that WatchMark next June will deliver such a replacement.

Overall, WatchMark's product focus will expand to address other data requirements of wireless network operators, according to Roberts.