Lucent confirms merger talks with Alcatel

Broadband equipment vendor giants Lucent Technologies and Alcatel yesterday confirmed they are discussing a potential merger, according to media reports.

Lucent is the market leader in CDMA-related wireless technologies, such as those used in networks owned by Verizon Wireless and Sprint Nextel, and has proposed a 700 MHz reconfiguration plan that would let public-safety entities use broadband applications in the spectrum that will be available nationwide in 2009. Paris-based Alcatel has been stronger in the GSM market in the wireless arena and has been the market leader in DSL technology.

Lucent and Alcatel are pursuing a “merger of equals,” according to the reports.

Many industry analysts have expected vendor consolidation for some time, noting that consolidation among operators limits the customer base for such companies.

Technology firms merge to deliver bundled services

Intelli-Check and Metrologic Instruments have entered into a strategic partnership. Under the terms of the agreement, Metrologic will supply Intelli-Check with a customized version of Focus(R), a handheld 1D and 2D imaging scanner. Intelli-Check will then bundle the Focus with a new version of its patented ID-CHECK technology, according to the company.

ID-CHECK technology reads, analyzes and validates magnetic stips encoded data on government-issued IDs from approximately 60 jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada. Applications include security and access control to protect airports, government buildings and military installations as well as for first-responder initiatives.

Corrections facility adopts inmate-tracking systems

Alanco Technologies’ TSI PRISM systems were selected by the Missouri Department of Corrections for two new early-release facilities in Farmington and St. Joseph, Mo. TSI PRISM uses RFID to identify inmate and officer identifications and locations. The system will manage inmate movement, automate scheduling and headcount monitoring and electronically monitor inmates' activity within the facilities.

Baby Bell reconsiders WiMAX for high-speed Web services

BellSouthis looking at WiMAX to cheaply provide high-speed Web services in areas where its wired network is slow or has been damaged. The regional provider will test WiMAX equipment in its labs in the coming months and run a live network trial in the second half of the year. Entering hurricane season, BellSouth is also starting to push its existing wireless service as a backup option to help businesses maintain data links between offices if services on the wired network are disrupted. The company already sells citywide, wireless broadband services in five markets, including in New Orleans.

EV-DO Revision A wireless technology becomes a reality

Nortel and Sierra Wireless achieved the industry's first, over-the-air test calls using EV-DO Revision A wireless technology and pre-commercial wireless data devices, according to a joint company statement. The technology powers next-generation broadband wireless services, such as push-to-talk, push-to-video and VoIP.

Nortel's CDMA equipment is designed to support EV-DO through modular upgrades to existing hardware. Sierra Wireless's AirCard 595 and the MC5725 Mini Card embedded module are the company’s first products for EV-DO Revision A networks and are scheduled for release later this year.