Alcatel-Lucent has won a contract to deploy its IP-based mobile backhaul network to support SK Telecom’s LTE-Advanced roll out.

Korea’s largest mobile operator became the first in the world to launch LTE-A in June this year and will deploy A-L’s Internet Protocol/Multiprotocol Label Switching-based (IP/MPLS) solution in October.  

The deal, which will see A-L link SK’s cell sites in 84 cities, will support LTE, WiBro (WiMAX) and Wi-Fi mobile data traffic in addition to LTE-A.

Further, the France-based vendor said its solution will improve the quality of SK’s mobile IPTV service and enable new mobile services to be launched.

LTE-A is the true 4G standard that has yet to launch in Europe outside of trials, such as those announced by Telekom Austria and Turkcell in the last couple of months.

Chi Il Yoo, Head of A-L Korea, said the deal demonstrated “significant momentum” in the company’s IP business, which has been targeted as a key focus area in the company’s Shift Plan, announced in June.

This strategic overhaul aims to cut €1 billion in costs and switch its focus to IP networking and mobile broadband as the vendor continues to struggle financially.

Latest financial figures for the second quarter of the year show A-L made a loss of €885 million on revenues that rose 1.9 percent to €3.6 billion.

On Thursday, rumours began to circulate that Nokia is considering a bid for part or all of A-L but neither party has commented officially.

Nokia is refocusing on network infrastructure after agreeing to sell its handset business to Microsoft

Read more

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