Carrier Briefs

Dell Computer Corp. is planning its first foray into the handheld market and has been negotiating with several Taiwanese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to produce a higher-end product to gun against rivals Toshiba Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., reports last month indicate. Although Dell spokesman Cody Pinkston said last month that the company would not comment on rumors or speculations, he did say that Dell has publicly stated that it is looking for opportunities in new markets like handhelds and mobile projectors. The Austin, Tex. company just recently began selling branded projectors.

Optical telecommunication equipment maker Sycamore Networks Inc. is halting development of optical transport devices and will cut approximately 235 employees in a reorganization, the company announced last month. Sycamore, in Chelmsford, Mass., will focus its business on optical switching products and integrate transport and transmission capabilities into its switches instead of selling standalone equipment, the company said in a statement. The downturn in investment by telecommunication carriers forced Sycamore to make the move, the company said. The optical network equipment industry was hit hard beginning in late 2000 after carriers overbuilt networks for demand that has not yet been realized. Sycamore will stop development of its SN 8000 and SN 10000 standalone transport systems and focus its resources on the SN 3000 and SN 16000 series of optical switches. As a result, the company will restructure its operations and consolidate its engineering organization. The work force will be reduced by approximately 235, the statement said.

A group of more than 200 technology vendors and network operators said they’re forming a trade association to work on interoperability standards for mobile telecommunications products and services. The Piscataway, N.J.-based Open Mobile Alliance Ltd. consolidates the standards activities of various groups, including the WAP Forum.