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IP conferencing, Widgets for mobiles and WLAN-to-GSM roamingHere's an exterior view of France Telecom's Boston research and development lab, one of the company's 14 labs worldwide. The R&D operation employs a total of 4,200 researchers, 15 of whom are located here in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
France Telecom is pushing R&D as a way to boost innovation and beat its competitors. It plans to raise its R&D budget - currently about €600m or 1.5 per cent of France Telecom's turnover - by 50 per cent from 2005 to 2008.
All photos: Sylvia Carr
Eric Dufresne, MD of the France Telecom Boston R&D Lab, said: "We're not trying to deliver standard products but investigate new and emerging technologies."
At the same time, the researchers' work is guided by what France Telecom's customers want.
Dufresne said: "We're very focused on what the customers expect from us - to do the right thing. We need to understand our customers' needs."
Here Clement Lizhtenauer of France Telecom-owned Equant demonstrates how, with the company's Business Everywhere product, one can place a VoIP call while simultaneously sending a large file and videoconferencing to a colleague - and the quality of the voice transmission does not degrade significantly.
The lab is now developing a 'Widgets for mobiles' scheme - much like the Widgets for the Mac OS - whereby third-party developers can easily create simple applications such as currency converters or world clocks for mobile devices.
Here Brenda Belleville, director of marketing for Equant North America, shows off a widget which allows for the easy tracking of packages online from a Minimo-powered device.
Here you see fellow journalists moving through the halls of the lab to test the service on the Motorola phones provided for us.