Alcatel-Lucent: Providing Telecommunications Services Since the 19th Century

There’s a lot of competition in the field of telecommunications, but Alcatel-Lucent has proven its staunchness through the global economy’s ups and downs. Formerly two companies, century-old Alcatel and newer Lucent Technologies, Alcatel-Lucent is now based in Paris, France, run by Ben Verwaayen, CEO and Philippe Camus, Chairman. The company provides hardware, software and services to numerous telecommunications service providers, businesses and governments to enable information, voice and video options.

Alcatel-Lucent is the parent company of Bell Labs, one of the biggest research and development names in telecommunications, with over 29,000 patents to its name. Alcatel-Lucent’s 2011 reports pegged its profits at 1.095 billion euros and its employee base at over 76,000 people operating in 130 countries. The company has won several distinguished awards, the most recent being one of the MIT’s “Technology Review’s” World’s Most Innovative Companies.

Alcatel-Lucent combined, has a long and rich history in the telecommunications industry. Since the 19th century, the company had its roots in the Western Electric Manufacturing Company in Cleveland, Ohio. Western Electric was at one time the largest American electric manufacturing company, a large share of which was bought by Alexander Graham Bell’s American Bell Telephone Company, later to be known as AT&T. Western Electric and AT&T merged to create Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Alcatel was formerly Alcatel Alsthom, while Lucent was a spin-off of AT&T. The two companies merged in 2006 due to increasing market competition, then went on to acquire several telecommunications development companies to strengthen the company’s hold. As of now, Alcatel-Lucent has regional offices for North and South America, Asia-Pacific, China, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The company provides services to focused businesses in enterprise, energy, submarine, strategic industries, transportation and government sectors. Alcatel-Lucent’s latest product was an internet router capable of providing speeds five times faster than other providers, earning the company another step forward in the technology race.