Alcatel-Lucent, the wireless communications company, is executing a CDMA network along the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir, a $70 million contract initially.

The company has spent $250-300 million in India on R&D efforts, including its Bell Labs facility in Bangalore.

“Eventually, the network will cover all our border areas. Another area of collaboration, involving the Indian Government and BSNL/Indian Telephone Industries is technology for the forthcoming 3G telephony; we are also in talks with other telecom players who are likely to be awarded the rights,” Managing Director Vivek Mohan told reporters here. Alcatel-Lucent in India had been shifting its business strategy towards services, looking at market needs for its technology, he said.

Subash Bana, Vice-President, India and R&D, said the company was concentrating its research efforts on developing next generation wireless telephony services, which could be low-cost and with wider usage in the Indian market.

One was providing remote broadband access, reachable up to 20 km from a remote village and another involved telemedicine. The rural services, which now formed 10-15 per cent of the total market, were expected to grow to 30 per cent in the next few years.

On the optic fibre expansion projects of the Indian Government, variously estimated to be around $2 billion spread over two years, Alcatel-Lucent would offer its proprietary technology and be involved with select vendors, he said.

On the business side, Mr. Mohan said besides lower cost mass market technology, the challenge was to find the right talent. The company had over 10,000 staff now spread across India, around 3,500 of them are researchers.

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