Alcatel, Fujitsu launch 3G joint venture

The deal, first announced on May 2, will result in the creation of Evolium SAS, a French company headquartered in Vélizy, near Paris. Alcatel will hold 66 per cent of the company and Fujitsu 34 per cent.

Under the terms of the agreement, signed Monday, more than 2,000 engineers will be transferred to Evolium from Alcatel and Fujitsu in France, Japan, Germany, Belgium and China.

The new company will be charged with defining and developing products for current and future mobile communications network operators, including GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) and its various evolutions such as GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) and EDGE (Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution).

Evolium's products for networks based on UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System), the forthcoming European 3G standard, will be based on work conducted by Fujitsu for Japanese network operator NTT DoCoMo, which plans to launch its 3G mobile communication service in May 2001.

The joint venture aims to win a 15-per cent share of the market for 3G telecommunications infrastructure. Its first products will be commercially available in Europe during the first half of 2001, with field trial networks available in Europe in the last quarter of this year, according to the statement.

Alcatel and Fujitsu will market the products through their existing sales networks, with Alcatel selling to countries already using GSM technology (Europe, most of Asia excluding Korea and Japan, and parts of North and South America and Africa) and Fujitsu addressing the Japanese market and some dedicated accounts in Asia-Pacific. The two companies plan to work together on sales in China.

Martin Jordy, currently vice-president product management and product development of Alcatel's Mobile Communications division, will become chief executive officer (CEO) of Evolium, and Eisuke Iwabuchi, general manager of Fujitsu's Mobile Communications and Wireless Systems division will become the deputy CEO of Evolium. Alcatel will name four representatives to Evolium's board of directors and Fujitsu two.

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