Altice Group has launched the first of a batch of R&D centers, called Altice Labs, in Portugal this week, while announcing plans to open up similar facilities in the U.S., France, Israel and Dominican Republic in the “coming months.”
According to Telecompaper, PT Portugal’s R&D unit, PT Inovacao, has been merged with Altice Labs.
Altice, which completed its acquisition of Suddenlink Communications and is pursuing a deal for Cablevision Systems, said the labs will benefit 200 million people in more than 35 countries where Altice has customers.
Altice Labs will support “thousands of engineers,” with expertise spanning telecommunications hardware, business support systems, digital services and, of course, TV.
Notably, the launch and anticipated expansion of Altice Labs comes as CableLabs, the U.S.-based industry R&D consortium with global partnerships, reorganizes to focus on longer-term “innovation projects.”
“Altice Labs will be integrated into local ecosystems, through partnerships with universities, corporate networks, and start-ups, to become full participants in innovation in each country,” according to a summary on the plan.
Altice Group began to discuss its lab plans in November 2015, when the company outlined several strategic initiatives, including the introduction of an advanced home gateway, a multiscreen subscription VOD service, a rebranding of the Numericable and Virgin brands in cable in favor of a new one, SFR. Altice also announced the establishment of a procurement company for the group that will negotiate with suppliers.