Latest lightRadio innovation - co-developed with China Mobile - will help meet rising mobile video and data traffic in three of the fastest growing cities of the world
BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Mobile World Congress 2013 -- Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) and China Mobile are to unveil an innovative new member of the lightRadio™ family that will help accelerate deployment of 4G TD-LTE technology across China, the largest mobile market in the world, as it continues to meet fast rising customer demand for mobile video and data.
lightRadio Metro Radio – co-developed by Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile - will be launched on February 26 at the Global TD-LTE Initiative's (GTI) "TDD Night" during Mobile World Congress 2013 in Barcelona.
Available now for large-scale commercial deployment in China Mobile's first trial TD-LTE network, which spans 13 cities in China, lightRadio Metro Radio will bring high-performance 4G services to residents in densely populated areas of Shanghai, Nanjing and Qingdao, three of the fastest growing cities in China and indeed the world. This will help to meet the ever-increasing demand for mobile Internet, video and data in the world's largest smartphone market. China Mobile itself has over 722 million subscribers - over half of the total mobile subscriptions in the country.
As more and more people use mobile devices to access high-bandwidth services such as streaming video and gaming, cellular networks are being stretched beyond capacity. Small cells are critical to the future of wireless broadband by enabling operators to continue to provide high-quality, consistent services to customers without the need to build costly, and sometimes logistically challenging, cell towers.
In China, lightRadio Metro Radio will be deployed in busy indoor and outdoor locations, such as shopping malls and stadiums where coverage can suffer either from the large number of consumers trying to access a network, or because the density of buildings impedes the radio signal. In these locations it can be traditionally either too difficult or costly to deploy a macro cell base station. lightRadio Metro Radio will provide a cost-effective alternative.
Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile signed a co-creation agreement in January 2012 to conduct joint development and test activities on a series of lightRadio TD-LTE projects to speed the deployment of LTE in China. TD-LTE is the 4G standard developed for use across China, and it is now being adopted by operators across the globe. lightRadio Metro Radio houses two lightRadio cubes, fully integrated with a directional antennae, allowing it to provide the coverage normally associated with a much bulkier, heavier remote radio unit linked to an external antenna via an RF coaxial cable.
lightRadio Metro Radio has been short-listed for the GTI's "Innovation Award", which recognizes innovation in the LTE industry and encourages the development of innovative products that address the challenges faced by GTI operators.
Bill Huang , President of China Mobile Research Institute, said: "China Mobile is committed to delivering the high-speed and performance mobile broadband service that customers are asking for. 4G TD-LTE is undergoing the final large-scale tests before commercial deployment and once completed the active antennae like Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio Metro Radio will be key to rolling out this service to meet our customers' needs wherever they are."
Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio portfolio of products, reduce the costs, power-consumption and size of LTE network elements, and help operators meet growing global demand for mobile video and data with increased speeds and performance.
Rajeev Singh-Molares , President of Alcatel-Lucent Asia Pacific Region said: "It is very exciting to think about the transformation these cities are soon to undergo and that Alcatel-Lucent will be at the heart of that transformation. As consumption of mobile data and video escalates in China, our small lightRadio Metro Radios will satisfy demand with the highest performance that China Mobile's customers' have come to expect."
When I read the story about LightRadio and China Mobile I can't help but worry about -------
"We've known for years that China isn't the most honest trade partner. It subsidizes industries it wants to own, manipulates its currency, and doesn't care about borrowing intellectual property when it sees fit. But recent hacking of U.S. companies and the U.S. government has brought to the forefront one of the great challenges for U.S. companies in China: how to control increasingly important intellectual property in today's connected world.
Most major companies do some business with China; many even outsource a large amount of production. Can they really expect China to keep trade secrets a secret when they're stealing them from across the ocean? It's a challenge that may define how companies view China in the future.
Exposing secrets to China
The challenge for companies has become leveraging inexpensive labor in China without exposing all of their secrets to workers there. Companies take a variety of strategies to mitigate the danger of losing control of IP.
For a company such as Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) , which has most of its products manufactured in China, you do this by developing and producing different parts of a product around the world. The software is developed in the U.S. while displays and chips are made by suppliers around Asia and shipped to Foxconn for final assembly. This makes it harder for a single manufacturer to copy Apple's products, particularly the software that makes everything work smoothly.
3M (NYSE: MMM ) takes a slightly different approach. It chooses to manufacture highly sensitive technology in the U.S. The two largest manufacturing plants 3M owns are within about an hour's drive of headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., keeping sensitive IP close to home. When manufacturing is complete for a product, such as the films that go into Apple's products, the converting (cutting the film into phone-shaped pieces) may take place in Asia but the sensitive technology has stayed close to home.
But even these methods don't always work. American Superconductor (NASDAQ: AMSC ) was nearly put out of business when Chinese manufacturing partner Sinovel stole proprietary software the company used to control wind turbines. The manufacturer paid (or promised to pay) a disgruntled employee for the code and cut ties with the company despite contractual obligations. In this case, the Chinese court system hasn't backed up American Superconductor despite the fact the man who sold the IP is in jail and Sinovel clearly breached contracts. What recourse does a company have even when all possible protections are done?
More reason to come home
I think the recent hacking attacks give U.S. companies even more reason to bring manufacturing back home. Even though attacks happened to U.S. companies and originated in China, the ocean between us at least makes it harder to copy products or steal technology. The fallout from hacking may not be felt overnight, but it is a piece of China's strategy to dominate increasingly complex industries once owned by U.S. companies. When the government of China is involved with hacking as well as funding industries, you can tell it's a concerted effort to pick industries China wants to own, which should worry U.S. companies.
The U.S. used to control the PC business until it started outsourcing manufacturing to China and other Asian nations. Over two decades, engineers became increasingly capable at building computers and today they own the industry. In 2001, four U.S. companies and one Japanese company were the top five computer makers by market share; today three of five are Asian companies. That's a huge shift in a giant industry over just 11 years.
Smartphones are trending in the same direction. Manufacturing already occurs in China and it's only a matter of time before a serious brand emerges to challenge today's leaders. Apple taught Samsung how to build today's smartphones and rumors have circulated that supplier Foxconn has its sights on its own smartphone.
Hacking isn't a silver bullet against U.S. companies, but it's a piece of the picture. Teach a few bright people how to build smartphones here, steal a little software code there, and suddenly a new competitor is born.
China shooting itself in the foot
The crazy part of the hacking reports is that China has more to lose than we do. Its economy relies on exports to survive and if U.S. companies began pulling out, it could be devastating. China isn't at the point where it can export its own products. It currently relies on U.S. companies to provide brands and technology while leveraging cheap Chinese labor, and it doesn't have a consumer-driven economy.
Over time, that will change, but China has a long way to go before it has a consumption or locally developed export economy. Whether it's hacking or IP theft, the country has to keep its eye on how far it pushes U.S. companies, which are already dealing with higher labor costs and could bring production home to the U.S.
China isn't the only problem
None of this is to say that China is the only problem. Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) , Apple, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) , and Twitter have all been hacked very recently and it doesn't appear to be coming from China. Eastern Europe and Russia, which are known to have some of the most sophisticated hackers, seem to be the source of recent problems. Microsoft has been fighting Chinese copyright infringement for decades so it already understands what a challenge these new markets present. For Facebook, the stakes are extremely high given the information people put on their site. A hack from anywhere in the world could render the company untrustworthy, sending users fleeing the site.
The difference between Chinese hacking and the recent tech hacking is that these countries don't make a lot of the products we buy so stealing IP wouldn't have the same impact. China could take the IP and leverage an already existing manufacturing infrastructure to build industries that compete directly with U.S. companies.
With IP in danger, labor costs rising, and local competitors popping up, I think we'll see increased scrutiny by U.S. companies doing business in China. We won't see a wholesale move back home, but a trickle will take place. If hacking from China continues, the discussions in boardrooms across the U.S. will take a more serious tone, particularly in high-tech industries.
U.S. companies have a lot to lose and a slightly lower margin may be a small price to pay if your whole business is under attack."
Hope ALU has figured out how to protect it IP from the Chinese "Ahead Of The Crowd". ..........Tickerguy
I share your concern. But is not in a position to analyse how patent protection work for ALU internationally (excluding China)? Some how there must be court protection for patent infringement internationally. However court battle can drag out for years?