Marcus Weldon, the high-profile CTO of Alcatel-Lucent and president of the vendor’s Bell Labs research unit, has told Mobile World Live he is “not too concerned” about his future position at the firm once its $17.6 billion acquisition by Nokia is complete, despite being absent from the initial list of new senior management positions.

When Nokia CEO Rajeev Suri unveiled his management team to run the new Networks business earlier this month, Nokia executives dominated the lineup, and no CTO role was announced.

This led to question marks over the positions of both Weldon and current Nokia Networks CTO Hossein Moiin. Indeed, it was Marc Rouanne who appeared to be left holding the cards. Currently head of mobile broadband at Nokia Networks, Rouanne will assume a new role of chief innovation and operating officer.

Asked about his future at the merged firm after next year’s completion, Weldon said it will depend on what kind of research culture Nokia wants.

“Certainly the thinking is my role will be a good one,” he said, adding that Nokia has to decide what kind of leader it wants in the role, given his style is slightly different from that of Moiin.

Weldon also said Marc Rouanne “has to make his own decision” regarding the CTO role.

“I may end up in another rather interesting other role – they’re doing a fair analysis and the outcome will be good for the company,” Weldon commented.

He said an announcement would be made in a couple of weeks.

Future X Network
Weldon was speaking after he launched a Bell Labs book that he has edited called “The Future X Network”.

Talking about this new network, he said it was essentially an “end-to-end definition of a 5G network” capable of “continuously and autonomously adapting” itself but with the help of human intervention.

IMG_1133He added that operators will in the future need to virtualise their network to get the scale needed for machine control and management, which will lead to two tiers of clouds.

The edge cloud run by operators, with high performance and low latency, and a centralised cloud used by global service providers like Google and Facebook.

“We have mechanisms to connect the two” he said, but what isn’t clear is whether global and local service providers will want to work together.

“Why can’t we all just get along?” he mused.