Compaq, Lucent team on 3G compatibility

In a deal designed to push the adoption of 3G (third generation) wireless technology, Lucent Technologies Inc. and Compaq Computer Corp. on March 11 announced that they would work together to ensure compatibility between Compaq’s iPaq handhelds and Evo laptop line and Lucent’s 3G network hardware.

Under the terms of the deal, Houston-based Compaq will have access to Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent’s testing labs in order to ensure that its products interoperate with Lucent’s 3G gear, said Anthony Papili, senior manager in the emerging device partnership group at Lucent. The companies may also do some joint development work on 3G products, he said. No money will be exchanged between the companies as part of the deal.

Lucent originally approached Compaq about working together on such a deal after Compaq announced its first iPaq handheld, Papili said. Having an established enterprise partner whose products work with its networking hardware will help Lucent sell its 3G hardware to carriers and telecommunication companies, he said.

Compaq agreed to the deal because “integrated wireless is a huge push for us,” according to Matthew Wagner, product marketing manager in the access business group at Compaq. The deal gives Compaq a headstart on testing for 3G compatibility before the technology is widely-deployed and ensures that Lucent’s hardware will work smoothly with Compaq’s, he added.

Currently, only Verizon Wireless Inc. offers 3G service in North America, though other carriers are expected to offer it within the year, Papili said.

3G is the next generation in mobile Internet and voice service, which offers bandwidth of up to 2.4Mbps and full multimedia capabilities.