By Simon Poulter, Head of Corporate Public Relations, Alcatel-Lucent
The week that began on Monday, July 9, 1962, was marked by two events that would still resonate around the world more than 50 years later. The second of these events was that, on Thursday, July 12, a band played their first ever concert together at a small club on London’s Oxford Street. They would later go on to become known as the “greatest rock and roll band in the world”: the Rolling Stones.
48 hours earlier, on Tuesday, July 10, a rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral carrying a satellite not much bigger than the beach balls being played with on the nearby Florida beaches. The satellite was Telstar, and it heralded the beginning of a new era in global communications, being the first orbiting platform to relay telephone calls, television images and data.
Though long since out of commission, Telstar 1 is still up in space (and, for the record, the Stones are still rolling), but its backup ‘twin’ hangs today from the ceiling of the global headquarters of Alcatel-Lucent’s Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Earlier this week, a group of financial analysts, journalists and industry analysts got to see it, along with many of Bell Labs’ other historic innovations at the start of the 2013 Alcatel-Lucent Technology Symposium.
Each year the Technology Symposium presents these invited guests with a ‘deep dive’ into the company’s strategy, presenting the thinking behind the company’s product direction and longer-term vision of the still-evolving communications future.
CEO Michel Combes at Alcatel-Lucent's 2013 Technology Symposium