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Alcatel Announces OEM Agreement with fSONA for Free Space Optics Solution
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Alcatel integrates fSONA subsystems for high-capacity FSO connections


Hannover Germany and Vancouver, Canada – 13 March 2003 - Alcatel (Paris: CGEP.PA and NYSE: ALA), the world leader in point-to-point microwave radios, today announced an OEM agreement with fSONA Communications, an innovative provider of next-generation Free Space Optics (FSO) solutions, to introduce free space optics subsystems into Alcatel’s high capacity wireless systems. The agreement empowers Alcatel’s offering with optical wireless transmission devices that enable the roll out of high-bandwidth services in the broadband access and last-mile environment.

Alcatel’s high-capacity urban wireless systems are being integrated with FSO technology to transmit large amounts of data through the air at high speeds. Thanks to its compact size and low-power consumption, the Alcatel FSO high capacity product reduces operational costs, as well as enables a rapid and license-free installation with fast investment payback. Furthermore, its ability to interwork with Alcatel’s microwave radio systems and fiber-based SDH/SONET products allows operators to protect their previous investments and to take advantage of both microwave and FSO technologies in their networks.

"Alcatel’s wireless solutions offer our customers multiple ways to deliver fast deployable high-capacity connections filling the current last-mile gap," said Gianni Jones, president of Alcatel’s wireless transmission activities. "The addition of FSO into our product catalogue positions Alcatel to provide fully optical wireless solutions for a broad array of applications.”

"This OEM agreement with a major telecommunications player like Alcatel is very exciting for fSONA and confirms our commitment to design simple free space optics products that can be incorporated into many different types of networks with ease,” stated Theresa Carbonneau, president & CEO of fSONA.

The complete Alcatel FSO high capacity system is being showcased for the first time at CeBIT (Hall 27, Stand A32) in Hannover, Germany.

About Free Space Optics
Free Space Optics is a technology that delivers broadband services over the air using lasers, eliminating the need for digging trenches to install fiber or acquire expensive microwave licensees. FSO can operate over spans with a clear line of sight between the source and the destination.

About fSONA
fSONA Communications was founded in 1997 to deliver simple solutions for carrier, service provider and enterprise networks around the world. The SONAbeam™ series of free space optical (FSO) networking products use an unlicensed, wireless technology operating at speeds up to 1.5 Gbps and distances up to 5km. SONAbeam™ avoids the cost of digging to lay fiber, licensing for radio frequencies, is immune to interference, and is extremely secure. SONAbeam™ is operational in 24 countries around the globe and was named Product of the Year by Network Magazine. For more information visit www.fsona.com or www.free-space-optics.org

About Alcatel
Alcatel provides end-to-end communications solutions, enabling carriers, service providers and enterprises to deliver content to any type of user, anywhere in the world. Leveraging its long-term leadership in telecommunications network equipment as well as its expertise in applications and network services, Alcatel enables its customers to focus on optimizing their service offerings and revenue streams. With sales of EURO 16.5 billion in 2002, Alcatel operates in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit Alcatel on the Internet: http://www.alcatel.com

About Alcatel's wireless transmission activities
In point-to-point microwave radio transmission, Alcatel's full-range catalogue comprises high, low and medium capacity microwave systems - based on PDH, SDH and North American standard (SONET) technologies - for mobile and fix broadband distribution, private and utilities network applications, voice and data (IP, ATM, Fast Ethernet) traffic. Natural complement to optical fiber transmission, it supports a full range of frequency bands, spectrum efficiency and network/radio configurations. The mentioned microwave radio systems can be managed by Alcatel's unified and fully integrated network management platform, as well as through the simplified network management protocol, and in all cases provide integration facilities with external management systems in multi-vendor fix or mobile environment. In the last five years, Alcatel has installed more than 300,000 microwave radios in more than 150 countries.

Alcatel's OEM Press Release

Alcatel's FSO Press Release