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MWC: Alcatel-Lucent focusing on cross-industry collaboration

Alcatel-Lucent creates NG Connect with aim of solving wireless connectivity problems ranging from consumer media to health care

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The mobile industry is no stranger to the concept of an ecosystem. Industry players have teamed up to focus their resources on specific technologies like WiMAX, handset operating systems like Android and even individual applications like location-based services. But Alcatel-Lucent’s new ecosystem is far more ambitious. Instead of tackling a particular standard or problem, Alcatel-Lucent is seeking to tackle all problems related to mobile connectivity by bringing together a diverse bunch of manufacturers, technologists, media companies and app developers.

This news story is part of a developing feature -- Wireless in 2025 -- that will eventually be published as the April cover story in Telephony.

We want you to participate: read the blog post kicking off this feature and track all of the content as it rolls out.

Announced today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, NG Connect is a consortium of infrastructure and technology companies spanning multiple vertical and consumer industries, all of which Alcatel-Lucent works with to identify and develop broadband applications targeted at their specific fields. In addition to Alcatel-Lucent, vendors Samsung and HP have joined the group, but the other members are not ones usually associated with telecom. QNX is a software and middleware developer serving the automotive, medical and automation markets. Buzznet is a social networking company specializing in the sharing of multimedia. Total Immersion is a 3D graphics company. Signexx manages digital connections to signs and advertising. The one thing all of these companies have in common is the need to create unique content platforms or applications that utilize broadband technologies, said Derek Kuhn, Alcatel-Lucent vice president of emerging technology and media.

Kuhn said the idea for NG Connect came about from the realization that vendors like Alcatel-Lucent cannot be all things to all people. Vendors traditionally have lived in a sheltered world where they developed specific communications and connectivity applications for their wireless customers. But as the scope of wireless and broadband touches every industry, Alcatel-Lucent can no longer develop every application on its own, nor can it partner with or purchase every company with a neat idea, Kuhn said. With NG Connect though, Alcatel-Lucent can create broader ecosystems around specific industries and allow companies that specialize in those industry’s to share in the development of ideas and the solving a problems, Kuhn said.

“The closer we become to these various businesses and industries, the more we understand what types of connectivity are important to them,” Kuhn said. “Our belief is firmly seeded in the knowledge that we can’t do everything. With this program we can really go beyond what we would not be able to do on our own.”

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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