Nortel back in broadband access

Through alliances with three companies, Nortel this week re-entered the broadband access market it exited almost three years ago.

Nortel Networks Corp. abandoned the market in June 2001 during a product rationalization binge spurred by financial challenges. Now, carriers are actually buying and deploying equipment for “triple play” services — voice, high-definition television and high-speed data — so Nortel’s back in the game.

According to Yankee Group, service providers worldwide will spend US$5 billion annually on broadband infrastructure to support triple play services. As a result, Nortel has entered into agreements with Calix, ECI Telecom and Keymile. ECI Telecom brings DSLAM, passive optical network (PON), and an aggregation platform for the global market. Calix and Keymile provide multiservice broadband loop carriers for markets using the North American ANSI and European ETSI standards, respectively.

Nortel officials would not say whether the arrangements are exclusive or non-exclusive. Nortel plans to utilize partnerships such as these to participate in the broadband access market versus investing in internal product development, says Walt Megura, Nortel’s general manager of broadband networks.

Specifically, Calix will provide multiservice broadband loop carriers supporting a variety of voice, data and video services over fiber and copper access infrastructure to both small- and medium-sized business and residential subscribers. The Calix C7 system can be deployed in either central offices or remote terminals, and supports an array of optical and copper network interfaces. It provides the functionality of traditional DSLAMs and next-generation digital loop carriers (NG-DLC), as well as fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network elements.

ECI Telecom will provide a multiservice access gateway delivering multi-xDSL, FTTP, and aggregation capabilities for central office DSLAM, optical line termination (OLT), and remote terminal applications. Keymile will provide its multiservice network access UMUX platform that supports NG-DLC and DSLAM capabilities over SDH/ATM and gigabit Ethernet networks. It can be located in the central office, outside plant, and business premise, and supports copper and fibre for broadband and narrowband applications.

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