Sun and Alcatel have signed a big co-operation deal that will see Sun technology appear in Alcatel's mobile phone networks, particularly its VoIP range.

Alcatel already uses Sun's Netra servers and the deal extends this to cover joint research and development work. Alcatel will also use Sun servers in its core switching products for mobile networks.

Alcatel's future core mobile network equipment wil use servers that comply with the AdvancedTCA spec developed by the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group, it said.

Initiatives like AdvancedTCA allow telecommunications equipment vendors to build their products at lower cost using open platforms and commodity hardware, where previously each equipment manufacturer developed its own proprietary hardware platforms.

Sun is developing an AdvancedTCA blade server platform, and the companies expect this and other aspects of the collaboration to make Alcatel's equipment cheaper.