Some personnel associated with Alcatel-Lucent public-safety initiatives have been cut as part of the manufacturer’s latest reorganization, but company officials insist that the vendor remains committed to developing and implementing LTE solutions for the public-safety sector.

“Public safety is still an incredibly important segment for Alcatel-Lucent,” Alcatel-Lucent spokesperson Denise Panyik-Dale said. “Basically, nothing has changed. Our development plans and resources with respect to LTE and public safety are still there, but they reorganized to improve the focus on the delivery of LTE for the customers.

“It’s a reorganization, but it’s really not a change of focus or importance. We internally restructured some of our public-service areas, but nothing has really changed, other than moving some things around.”

Morgan Wright, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent’s global public-safety segment, confirmed that today will be his last day with the company, but declined to discuss whether other members of his group are in a similar situation. Other sources indicated that at least five others from the public-safety team were cut.

The move was part of Alcatel-Lucent’s ongoing efforts to restructure the company during the past few years, Panyik-Dale said. However, public-safety entities working with Alcatel-Lucent on LTE projects should not experience any significant changes, she said.

“What hasn’t changed are the people who do the actual sales, the people who do the development, the deployment and public affairs for public safety,” Panyik-Dale said. “What these people did [before being cut from Alcatel-Lucent] was moved into another part of our company that focuses on LTE.

“We still have a major commitment to public safety and to LTE.”

One of the largest makers of LTE equipment for commercial carriers in the world, Alcatel-Lucent has been at the forefront of many public-safety LTE effort, as well. Alcatel-Lucent is the only vendor that has completed the first part of Phase 2 testing being conducted in Colorado as part of the Public Safety Communications Research Program (PSCR).

In addition, Alcatel-Lucent is deploying the 700 MHz LTE network for public-safety users in Charlotte, N.C. Funded primarily by a $17 million federal stimulus grant, that network is scheduled to be operational this summer, so it can be used during the Democratic National Convention in September.

Chuck Robinson, the key business executive for the city of Charlotte’s business support services, said Alcatel-Lucent has kept him informed about the latest personnel moves and is confident that the changes will not negatively impact the Charlotte LTE project.

“I’m quite comfortable with some of the strategic moves they’re making,” Robinson said. “In some ways, it actually improves their ability to respond to public safety.”

“We’re extremely comfortable, and the project is proceeding very well. We’ve been nothing but satisfied, thus far.”

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