Bell Labs Opens England Office to Research Video

The new facility is the second "antenna" office Alcatel-Lucent's research arm has opened to focus on single issues facing telecoms.

cloud computing

Alcatel-Lucent's renowned Bell Labs is opening a small office in England that will focus its research on real-time cloud delivery of video to various connected devices.

The new Cambridge facility is the second such "antenna" office that the research lab has open in recent months, following on the launch of another one in Israel in May that will work on cloud research. Officials with Bell Labs, which is headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., expect to announce a third such office later this year.

Bell Labs officials said they will use these antenna sites to focus research on a single industry issue and enable researchers to work more closely with Alcatel-Lucent businesses, other Bell Labs researchers, enterprises, university and other research institutions. It's part of a larger effort by Marcus Weldon, who took over as president of Bell Labs in 2013, to refocus the institution's efforts on solving real-world problems in the telecommunications industry.

There aren't many challenges for carriers more pressing than dealing with video, which Bell Labs researchers estimate accounts for about 75 percent of the traffic traversing over their mobile networks. And consumer demand for video over multiple devices is expected to grow. In addition, another hurdle is the increase in user-generated video content from such devices as smartphones, tablets and video cameras, which need to be uploaded, stored and delivered in real time, they said, adding that networks need to become more video-centric.

"The massive growth in the generation and demand for video-centric content is creating one of the biggest issues for our customers as they evolve their networks," Weldon said in a statement. Researchers in Cambridge "will work closely with the IP video team to solve these issues with solutions that optimize video-centric delivery and network capabilities that ensure high quality even as demand explodes."

The new Bell Labs facility will be housed in the headquarters of Alcatel-Lucent's IP video business, which has grown since Alcatel-Lucent bought Velocix in 2009.