Founded in May 1898, Alcatel provides communications solutions to telcos, Internet service providers and enterprises for the delivery of voice, data and video applications.
With sales of 13.1 billion euro (US$16.7 billion) and 58,000 employees in 2005, Alcatel is a pioneer in digital switching and a major supplier of Triple Play and IPTV solutions. Western Europe continues to form the bulk of its 2005 sales (41 percent), followed by the rest of Europe (7 percent), North America (14 percent), Asia (15 percent) and the rest of world (23 percent).
Today Alcatel is one of the world's fastest-growing mobile infrastructure suppliers in the areas of GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks. Its customers include Citigroup, JVC, NEC Group, and BenQ. Partnering with more than 360 local mobile operators in over 130 countries, Alcatel helps local operators such as Celcom to evolve their networks toward an all-IP environment.
Alcatel made several strategic moves over the course of the year. In March, the company announced it was in merger talks with its American rival Lucent Technologies, which would propel the merged company to become the biggest telecommunications player globally. Alcatel also bought some of Nortel Networks' wireless access infrastructure equipment in September to boost its 3G wireless business in Europe and Asia.
On Dec. 1, 1006, Alcatel and Lucent Technologies announced the completion of their merger transaction.