Alcatel-Lucent out of NBN work

Alcatel-Lucent isn't looking for work with other proponents of the government's $4.7 billion National Broadband Network, despite its partner Telstra being thrown out of the process, according to new Australian managing director Andrew Butterworth.

Alcatel-Lucent isn't looking for work with other proponents of the government's $4.7 billion National Broadband Network, despite its partner Telstra being thrown out of the process, according to new Australian managing director Andrew Butterworth.

Andrew Butterworth
(Credit: Suzanne Tindal
/ZDNet.com.au)

"At this point in time we're not talking with the other proponents for NBN," he told ZDNet.com.au today.

Telstra announced a $3.5 billion memorandum of understanding with then-Alcatel as part of the telco's proposed fibre to the node upgrade project in November 2005. However, that amount was cut down to $460 million after Telstra cancelled the project in mid-2006.

"We haven't hidden the fact that we've strategically partnered with Telstra and you know that's the position we took when we walked into the process. We certainly don't regret making that decision," Butterworth said.

"Obviously we'd prefer to be slightly in a different position, but I mean looking at our business plan and the work that we do with Telstra ... and the work we do with our other customers, we still have a solid business base to continue to move forward."

Alcatel-Lucent did a lot of work with Telstra, not only around the network space, but on its operational support systems, on prepaid billing and also on mobile TV, Butterworth said. He also had hopes on benefiting from Telstra's 3G push, being involved in the backhaul and applications for future upgrades.

Alcatel-Lucent's business plan was good before the National Broadband Network came along and it would continue to be a good business plan regardless, since it would focus on building up the work it currently does with customers, Butterworth said.

"At this stage we've still got our relationship with Telstra and in addition to that ... the work that we already provide and support for our existing customers. You know we will continue to do that. But you know we're not looking to change the way we've positioned ourselves and the way we support Telstra at this point in time," he said.

Butterworth was officially appointed to the MD position today after acting in the position since his predecessor, Hilary Mine, resigned late last year.

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