Alcatel-Lucent Continues Fixed Broadband Growth

Next Generation Communications Blog

Alcatel-Lucent Continues Fixed Broadband Growth

Traditional service providers are hard pressed to win new customers, given the economy and a diminishing number of "unconnected" households (i.e., those without broadband access), combined with a saturated market, at least in terms of readily accessible areas. There is certainly plenty of room for growth when it comes to emerging access technologies, particularly next generation wireless networks like LTE and WiMAX, but in developed countries, in particular, the fixed line markets make growth a challenge.

Likewise, equipment vendors are equally hard pressed to achieve sustained growth, but it is possible, as evidenced by Alcatel-Lucent's results from Q1 2009, when it shipped more than five million DSL lines, accounting to more than one-third of the market, according to Dell'Oro Group. That growth brings Alcatel-Lucent's DSL line shipment total to more than 190 million, which also keeps it atop the global leaderboard, despite a slightly smaller growth figure than in the previous quarter. 


Notable statistics from Dell'Oro on Alcatel-Lucent's DSL market share include:

  • The top spot in the North American DSL market, with nearly a 60 percent share, three times its closest competitor;
  • 49 percent of the EMEA DSL market, more than doubling its closest rival;
  • It owns more than 63 percent of the DSL market in the rest of the world, again, more than three times its closest competitor;
  • 50.3 percent of the global VDSL market, up nearly 15 percent in Q1, amounting to more that four times its closed competitor.

Not only is its growth and overall market share competitively notable, since it comes at the expense of Alcatel-Lucent's competition, but at a time when service providers are more cautious than ever with their investments, retaining the top position provides it increased leverage when the economy finally revives. Having now also expanded its VDSL market share -- VDSL, of course, is the higher speed successor to DSL -- Alcatel-Lucent is making it increasingly difficult for competitors to close in on its market share lead, as the company has clearly stated its intention to continue to drive broadband adoption via multiple access technologies, including optical networking, where it has also seen growth -- it has expanded its GPON customer base, by 30 percent in year-over-year analysis.


The company says it now has more than 95 FTTH deployments under way, 80 of which are GPON-based. Its fiber customer base includes notable names like Verizon, France Telecom, Portugal Telecom, and Hong Kong Broadband Network, speaking to its ability to serve some of the most demanding providers in the world.


"Our sustained leadership in fixed broadband access builds, to a great extent, on our continuous innovations," says Dave Geary, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Wireline Networks activities.


In addition to a broad fixed line portfolio, that commitment to innovation also extends to the wireless market, notably the 4G space, where it has positioned itself well, with a product portfolio that includes both WiMAX and LTE, which necessarily increases its market opportunity, unlike those competitors who have chosen one wireless technology.


Its ability to provide not only fixed line solutions, but also a range of wireless alternatives, offers Alcatel-Lucent an opportunity in both developed and emerging markets, but also means it can compete for nearly any broadband contract. That, in and of itself, positions the company well as the ongoing recession (hopefully) heads into its last stretch.


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