About Bell Labs

Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs is one of the world’s leading research institutions. We have been pioneering the development of new communications technologies for more than 80 years. We are well known for inventing and perfecting many of the cornerstone technologies that have defined today’s information technology and communications systems. Bell Labs continues to lead the way in the development of future communications technologies and networks.



At a glance

Alcatel-Lucent’s R&D investment

€2.3 Billion for 2012
(approximately 16% of sales)

Nobel Prizes

7 prizes shared by 12 Bell Labs researchers

Active Alcatel-Lucent Patents

in 2012

Alcatel-Lucent Patent Applications

in 2012


250+ universities


Bell Labs has helped weave the technological fabric of modern society. Since its founding in 1925, technology from Bell Labs has shaped the ways people live, work and play. Over the past 80 years, the Bell Labs R&D community has made seminal scientific discoveries, created powerful new technologies, and built the world’s most advanced and reliable networks.

Today, guided by both experience and vision, this creative force is part of the innovation engine that’s helping Alcatel-Lucent’s customers build and manage broadband, multi-service networks for the coming decades.

Among Bell Labs’ most influential innovations are the transistor, the laser, DSL, UNIX, C and C++, DWDM, solar cells, and MIMO. We have also played critical roles in the development of innovations in digital networking and signal processing, fiber-optic communications systems, cellular telephony, digital switching, touch-tone dialing, and more.

Current research focus areas include: IP networking, ultra-broadband access (wireline and wireless), green/eco-sustainable technologies; quantum computing, network computing; network components; optical networking; cloud technologies, and software-defined networking.


Alcatel-Lucent and Bell Labs participate in approximately 100 standards organizations, making contributions to more than 200 different working groups. We hold leadership positions in many of the most influential telecommunication standards bodies, helping foster and steer the development and advancement of key technologies and eco-sustainability initiatives. Some of these groups include:

  • The International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
  • The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
  • The IEEE Technical Sub-Committee on Green Telecommunications and Computing
  • The 3rd Generation Partnership Program (3GPP) and 3GPP2
  • The TIS Broadband Forum
  • The European Code of Conduct on Energy Consumption for Broadband Equipment
  • China Communications Standards Association (CCSA)
  • The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI)
  • The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)
  • The Open Mobile Alliance (OMA)
  • The Open IPTV Forum
  • The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)