Telecommunications equipment maker Lucent Technologies is in talks with potential partners over China's next-generation mobile network, despite not having made a commitment to build products. 'If it becomes obvious China decides to implement this product, we will look at a variety of ways to implement it,' Lucent mobility operations president Jim Brewington said yesterday. Lucent is among a number of foreign telecommunications firms scrambling to land deals in China in the face of confusion over standards for third-generation licences. The Ministry of Information Industry is considering three technologies: Qualcomm's CDMA2000; WCDMA, which is backed by Nokia Corp of Finland; and TD-SCDMA, developed by Siemens of Germany and Datang Mobile Communications Equipment of China. Lucent chairman and chief executive Patricia Russo said expenditure on telecommunications equipment next year would be virtually unchanged. Analysts generally are divided on the outlook for telecommunications expenditure. 'We tend to come out on one or the other side of a roughly flat total market,' Ms Russo said. Last month, Lucent posted a profit in the fourth quarter for the first time since March 2000 following a three-year restructuring. While sales rose 3.2 per cent, gross margins jumped to 43 per cent from 29 per cent due to a sharp decline in operating costs.