Alcatel-Lucent has signed a commercial and technological partnership agreement with fast-growing wireless start-up EBlink to expand its capabilities for 4G LTE ultra-broadband mobile access networks and small cells. The agreement includes a €3 million investment in EBlink aimed at supporting innovation and accelerating business momentum.

This partnership will enable Alcatel-Lucent’s customers to benefit from EBlink’s advanced wireless solutions. It will provide new technological choices as they evolve their networks toward cloud and small cell architectures in order to meet the soaring demands for wireless data.

Commenting on the agreement, Philippe Keryer, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer of Alcatel-Lucent said: “As a wireless market leader, Alcatel-Lucent is committed to delivering innovative solutions that meet customers’ mobile ultra-broadband access needs. As announced in The Shift Plan, we are working with companies where it makes sense to strengthen our portfolio of solutions. Our work with EBlink allows us to further extend this comprehensive portfolio to meet all of our customers’ LTE and small cell deployment needs.”

EBlink’s wireless solutions complement Alcatel-Lucent’s wireless LTE and small cells offerings. The expanded portfolio will strengthen Alcatel-Lucent leadership in Cloud RAN and 5G architecture and drive a reduction in the cost of deployment overall.

Alain Rolland, founder and CEO of EBlink added: “For EBlink, signing this partnership with Alcatel Lucent reaffirms the relevance of our technologies and will contribute to EBlink’s growth. As part of this agreement, Alcatel Lucent will address new market opportunities and distribute EBlink’s wireless fronthaul solutions to its mobile operator customer base worldwide.”

EBlink’s innovative Wireless Fronthaul solution represents a major technological advance for base station deployment, eliminating the last few hundred meters of fibber that are so costly for operators. The solution reflects the evolution toward increasingly centralized telecom architectures, and allows for faster and easier deployment of 3G, 4G and future 5G networks. Wireless fronthaul technology is seen as essential to the development of small cells, to ensure much-needed coverage and high-speed service. Industry analysts and major international operators now speak of wireless fronthaul as a technology that has become essential.