Lucent's General Packet Radio Services cellular technology ranks first in new market report

Independent analyst firm concludes Lucent's "One-Stop-Shop" approach offers a competitive advantage to new GPRS market entrants

Ascot, UK - Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) Microelectronics Group, the world leader in communications semiconductors, today announced that the analyst firm Future Horizons has ranked Lucent number one in critical General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) solutions categories, and stated that the company's products offer the quickest path to deployment for new GPRS market entrants.

GPRS is an emerging technology that adds high-speed Internet and email data services to GSM cellular phones. Initial GPRS-equipped terminals will enable speeds up to 56 kilobits per second (kpbs), with further evolution up to 115 kbps.

The October 1999 report, GPRS Market Status - The Next Generation Wireless Data Revolution, states that GPRS, which will enable the deployment of mobile data applications superior to today's voice-driven GSM applications, is "an essential part of the mobile revolution" and is expected to "kick-start the long awaited growth in the mobile data market." Yet Future Horizons forewarned that "[GPRS] handsets not ready for CeBit 2000 [24 February - 1 March] will be seriously behind the market, and manufacturers that ignore the GPRS market will do so at their peril."

Lucent has developed a complete range of GPRS products that deliver an advantage to manufacturers if they adopt them today, according to Future Horizons. For Tier-Two and Tier-Three manufacturers, the company's "one-stop-shop, reference design platform approach offers an attractive solution...and the best chance of early GPRS market entry, giving Lucent Technologies a clear market advantage."

Lucent was ranked highly in several key technology areas, including:

GPRS service class support - Enabled by Lucent's Sceptre 3 system-on-a-chip solution, Lucent's support for GPRS service classes was ranked first. Available now, Sceptre 3 has a flexible architecture that easily addresses future terminal design requirements and integrates digital signal processing, microprocessing, read only memory, random access memory and laser programmability on one chip. Sceptre 3 customers will be among the first to introduce GPRS terminals in early 2000.

State-of-the-art IC technology - Ranked first, Lucent's advanced IC technology includes Sceptre 3, which incorporates advanced on-chip, full-speed FlashDSP® for prototyping DSP Read Only Memory (ROM) code. FlashDSP not only allows the silicon to fit into production packaging, but enables it be used through Full Type Approval (FTA) and pre-production prototyping for faster time-to-market.

Turnkey software/hardware solution - Lucent was ranked first for being the earliest to market with a complete range of hardware and software products from which to implement GPRS.

GPRS stack - Future Horizons praised Lucent's "highly optimised" GPRS protocol stack for manufacturers of GSM mobile handsets and data modules software. The firm said its Man Machine Interface (MMI) "is especially impressive, offering a high degree of user customisation." Developed by Optimay GmbH, a subsidiary of Lucent Technologies, the GPRS stack is designed to be modular and portable.

Clear roadmap to EDGE and UMTS - Lucent was recognised for its strategic product blueprint that allows customers to easily migrate their technology and applications from one generation of wireless technology to the next. For example, developments made for 2.5G can be easily migrated to 3G.

"Manufacturers debating whether or not to deploy GPRS must act now or risk losing significant market share and revenue to those with a head-start," said Malcolm Penn, founder and CEO of Future Horizons. "New market entrants would do well to consider deploying solutions from Lucent, a clear leader in GPRS. The company's unique, one-stop product approach enables companies to bring GPRS products to market quickly, and ultimately stand ground against competitors."

"Interest in GPRS is building among industry players looking to edge out competitors by developing GPRS products and services early and being first to market," said Lance Hiley, wireless strategic marketing manager at Lucent's Microelectronics Group. "Future Horizon's findings validate our strategy to have developed, trial tested and produced a full range of GPRS solutions early in the game."

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