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Article: Sunday Classics! The Oldest Cell Phone Company
Pretty good article. However, Alcatel did not join forces with Lucent; they bought out Lucent.
A friend of mine worked for them and was laid-off due to downsizing in the US. When he first started with the company, it was still known as Western Electric.
I also have a cousin who worked for Bell Labs. He was laid-off when Bell Labs spun off Lucent.