Monday, June 1, 2009

Alcatel-Lucent opens Alternative Energy Laboratory in France

Alcatel-Lucent has opened an alternative energy laboratory dedicated to the telecoms sector. Located on its Bell Labs research site in Villarceaux, France, this station forms part of an Alternative Energy strategic program launched by Alcatel-Lucent to respond to the growing demand from wireless operators for energy-autonomous and green wireless networking equipment that can provide advanced communications capabilities even in remote areas with no access to commercial power grids. The Villarceaux pilot site consists of a wireless base station powered by a hybrid system of solar panels and wind turbines, but not dependent on the electrical grid. At the same time, the laboratory section is researching other energy sources, such as fuel cells and bio-fuels.

Alcatel-Lucent said its Alternative Energy program will make it possible for operators to extend the reach of their wireless services to access a huge population of potential new subscribers for its customers -- the more than one billion people living in areas not served by an electrical grid. These people have no access to phone or broadband services and consequently are cut off from a vital tool for economic and social development.

This program builds on Alcatel-Lucent's recent innovations to create more energy efficient wireless networks and leverage its experience deploying more than 300 radio sites powered by alternative energy sources. The goal is to develop a mass-produced alternative energy solution capable of being deployed to more than 100,000 wireless base station sites through 2012.

"The site offers Alcatel-Lucent and its customers and its industrial, institutional and academic partners, the ability to analyze, test and validate the solutions proposed by the dynamic, but fragmented, alternative energy sector. It is also a center for people within the company and outside to discuss and try out new ideas to bring the world of telecoms and that of alternative energy closer together," said Rich Garafola, director of Sustainable Power solutions at Alcatel-Lucent.

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