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Managing Editor

Lucent seeks IP partnerships

Jan 13, 20032 mins

* Lucent looks to partnerships to fill holes in its lineup

Lucent is lining up partnerships to fill in the gaps in its IP/Multi-protocol Label Switching portfolio after the recent cancellation of its multiservice core packet switch.

Industry sources say Lucent is talking with Juniper about offering Juniper’s routers for wireline IP/MPLS requirements. The structure of the potential arrangement is unclear, but Lucent would become another large systems player, along with Ericsson, Nortel and Siemens, marketing Juniper routers to joint customers.

Lucent then would provide the ATM overlay component of Juniper’s recently announced Model for Integrated Network Transformation revenue-generation architecture, industry sources say:

Lucent is a leading supplier of carriers’ ATM switches.

On the wireless side, Lucent is considering lining up Cisco to provide IP/MPLS requirements in that arena. Lucent is dual-sourcing its IP/MPLS capabilities because it sees Cisco as a wireline competitor, sources say, while Juniper has a joint-development relationship with Lucent competitor Ericsson for Gateway General Packet Radio Service Support Nodes (GGSN) in mobile wireless IP networks.

The structure of a possible partnership with Cisco is unclear, but it is likely to involve joint marketing of Cisco GGSNs with Lucent Code Division Multiple Access, Universal Mobile Telecommunications System and other 3G wireless access; base station and switching products, and possibly joint development. With both vendors, Lucent could add its professional services capabilities to the partnerships, potentially generating more revenue for all parties – services revenue for Lucent and additional product sales for Juniper and Cisco.

But some analysts say the parties would keep the alliances “loose” – merely additional sales channels.

“It’s just one more relationship for the company,” says Nikos Theodosopoulos of UBS Warburg. “I don’t think [it will involve] a lot of collaboration.”

Lucent, Cisco and Juniper would not comment on these developments, characterizing them as rumors. Industry sources say the Juniper deal could be announced this quarter.

Lucent stated its intention to pursue partnerships to fill in IP/MPLS and other multiservice gaps in its product portfolio after the discontinuation of the TMX 880 IP/MPLS core multiservice switch in October. Lucent pared back on development and marketing of products that do not provide an immediate potential revenue stream.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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