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France's Alcatel Acquires Two U.S. Telecom Firms

France's Alcatel SA will acquire two American firms -- a mobile telephone equipment provider and a teleconferencing supplier, Alcatel said Friday.

With its mobile switching and networking portfolio, Spatial Wireless will provide Alcatel with equipment to expand into the U.S. cell telephone infrastructure market. Alcatel said it would pay about $250 million for the acquisition.

The teleconferencing deal was much smaller -- $27 million in cash for edial. The Massachusetts firm employs a server-based approach to teleconferencing facilities call control and management across multiple applications.

In announcing the Spatial acquisition, Alcatel expressed confidence that the U.S. firm's switching gear would become a standard in the cellular phone market. The Texas company's software enables wireless device users to switch among mobile, fixed-line and Internet-based networks. Alcatel, which had acquired key operations from ITT several years ago, had previously focused on fixed-line equipment in U.S. markets.