During Alcatel-Lucent’s earnings call today, an analyst tried to pin down CEO Ben Verwaayen on whether Alcatel-Lucent planned to take advantage of Nortel’s recent bankruptcy filing to buy up assets or lure away customers. Verwaayen’s answer:
“We have nothing but a great deal of respect for our competitors in the market,” Verwaayen said. “We have said, at the same time, we are not going to be have any big M&A plans going forward. … We’re going to execute our plans. We’re very excited about our plans. We’re very excited about the opportunity for ourselves to build and to grow from what we have. And all of the rest, I think, is quite interesting to consider for industry watchers. But for us, we’ll focus on the here and now.”
Though analyts are speculating Alcatel-Lucent might be one of the potential bidders for Nortel’s pieces, Verwaayen is implying that a big purchase of Nortel’s still developing 4G business or CDMA business would be out of the question, to say nothing of its mammoth metro Ethernet unit. As for poaching Nortel’s customers, Verwaayen says he doesn’t badmouth competitors. Of course, you don’t have to talk badly about competitors on conference calls if you want their business. You just have to talk badly about them to their customers.
Alcatel-Lucent’s Q4 conference call wasn’t terribly enlightening, though the Verwaayen did go into some detail about its new partnering and start-up strategy, which Telephony Senior Editor Ed Gubbins covers in his analysis today. The vendor saw sales decline in all of its divisions except two notable areas: IP/MPLS routing equipment and IMS. Alcatel-Lucent noted that IMS and next-generation network equipment revenues are now higher than TDM switching equipment revenues.