AskDefine | Define lucent

Dictionary Definition

lucent adj : softly bright or radiant; "a house aglow with lights"; "glowing embers"; "lambent tongues of flame"; "the lucent moon"; "a sky luminous with stars" [syn: aglow(p), glowing, lambent, luminous]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. emitting light; shining; luminous
  2. translucent; clear

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Extensive Definition

Lucent Technologies was a technology company composed of what was formerly AT&T Technologies, which included Western Electric and Bell Labs. It was spun-off from AT&T on September 30, 1996.


One of the primary reasons AT&T chose to spin off its equipment manufacturing business was to permit it to profit from sales to competing telecommunications providers; these customers had previously shown reluctance at purchasing from a direct competitor. Bell Labs brought prestige to the new company, as well as the revenue from thousands of patents.
At the time of its spinoff, Lucent was placed under the leadership of Henry Schacht, who was brought in to oversee its transition from an arm of AT&T into an independent corporation. Richard McGinn succeeded Schacht as CEO in 1997. Lucent became a "darling" stock of the investment community in the late 1990s, rising from a split adjusted spin-off price of $7.56/share to a high of $84. However, on January 6, 2000, Lucent made the first of a string of announcements that it had missed its quarterly estimates, and when it was later revealed that it had used dubious accounting and sales practices to generate some of its earlier quarterly numbers, Lucent fell from grace. By October, 2002, when its stock price bottomed at 55 cents per share, Henry Schacht had been brought back on an interim basis to replace McGinn.
In 1999, Lucent acquired Ascend Communications, an Alameda, California-based manufacturer of communications equipment for US$24 billon. Lucent held discussions to acquire Juniper Networks but decided instead to build its own routers internally. In April of 2000, Lucent sold its Consumer Products unit to VTech & Consumer Phone Services. In October of 2000, Lucent spun-off its Business Systems arm into Avaya, Inc., and in June, 2002, it spun off its microelectronics division into Agere Systems.
In 2002, Lucent began making significant cuts to the health care and retirement benefits of many of its 125,000 retirees. Although Lucent contends these and future cuts are necessary for its survival, they have nevertheless spawned several lawsuits and generated a continuing flow of negative publicity in the news media.
Today, Lucent has 30,500 employees, down from about 165,000 employees at its zenith. Lucent is active in the areas of telephone switching, optical, data and wireless networking. Patricia Russo currently heads the company, succeeding Schacht who remains on the Board of Directors.
On April 2, 2006, Lucent announced a merger agreement with Alcatel, which is 1.5 times the size of Lucent. Ms. Russo will lead the combined company, Alcatel-Lucent.


Lucent is divided into several core groups:
  • Network Solutions Group - serves landline/cellular telephone service providers by providing equipment & other solutions necessary to provide telephone service, including networking equipment
  • Lucent Worldwide Services (LWS) - a division with customers around the world that provides network services to telecom companies and business. LWS's clients include AT&T & Verizon.
  • Bell Labs - created in 1925 as the R&D firm of the Bell System. It was an AT&T subsidiary set up as dual ownership by AT&T and Western Electric, the manufacturing arm of AT&T. Bell Labs has accumulated over 31,000 patents in its existence, some of which include development of the LED and discovery of the measure of sound.


Lucent was named one of the "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" in 2004 by Working Mother magazine.

Murray Hill facility

The Murray Hill anechoic chamber, built in 1940, is the world's oldest wedge-based anechoic chamber. The interior room measures approximately 30 feet high by 28 feet wide by 32 feet deep. The exterior concrete and brick walls are about 3 feet thick to keep outside noise from entering the chamber. The chamber absorbs over 99.995% of the incident acoustic energy above 200 Hz. At one time the Murray Hill chamber was cited in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's quietest room. It is possible to hear the sounds of bone joints and heart beats very prominently.
The Murray Hill facility is currently the global headquarters for Lucent Technologies. The Murray Hill facility also has the largest copper-roof in the world. When Lucent Technologies was experiencing financial troubles in 2000 and 2001, one out of every three fluorescent lights was turned off in the facility. The same was done in the Naperville facilities for a while. The facility has a cricket field and nearby, features a station from which enthusiasts can control RC airplanes and helicopters.

FCPA case

According to its SEC filing, In April 2004 Lucent fired its president, COO, a marketing executive and a finance manager at its China operations for FCPA violations. These violations were uncovered through internal investigations triggered by the (unrelated) US DOJ and SEC probe into possible Lucent's FCPA violations in Saudi Arabia.


The Lucent logo, the Innovation Ring, was designed by Landor Associates, a prominent San Francisco-based branding consultancy. One source inside Lucent says that the logo is actually a Zen Buddhist symbol for "eternal truth", the Enso, turned 90 degrees and modified. Another source says it represents the mythic ouroboros, a snake holding its tail in its mouth.
After the logo was compared in the media to the ring a coffee mug leaves on paper, a Dilbert comic strip showed Dogbert as an overpaid consultant designing a new company logo; he takes a piece of paper that his coffee cup was sitting on and calls it the "Brown Ring of Quality".

Works about Lucent

  • Optical Illusions: Lucent and the Crash of Telecom
lucent in German: Lucent Technologies
lucent in French: Lucent Technologies
lucent in Dutch: Lucent Technologies
lucent in Swedish: Lucent
lucent in Contenese: 朗訊

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