Nortel unveils unified IP. Optical, wireless strategy

A wireless access infrastructure, a unified packet IP network, and an integrated optical/wireless Internet highlighted Brampton, Ont.-based Nortel Networks’ Wireless recent Internet strategy announcement in Paris, France.

Codenamed “Wings of Light”, the strategy unifies the company’s IP, optical, and wireless capabilities to redefine the Internet and help speed its clients’ success in the wireless Internet marketplace, according to Nortel.

“Wings of Light enables IP-based services to be delivered over the air and leverages the power of the high-performance, optical Internet,” said Clarence Chandran, president, Service Provider and Carrier Group, Nortel Networks. “Through this strategy, Nortel Networks will provide cost-effective, end-to-end 3G (third generation) wireless Internet solutions spanning local Internet, optical Internet, wide-area wireless access, network management, and enterprise voice and data services.”

He added: “Previous generations were characterized by an ‘iron triangle’ of terminals, applications and infrastructure. The third generation will see a coming together of terrestrial networks and wireless networks with new service-enabling capabilities. Wings of Light will break the ‘iron triangle’ and set service providers on the road to profit from new business models and services.”

Alliances and partnerships with appliances and applications vendors to ensure interworking with access devices and content for wireless users; integrated service solutions on the Shasta 5000 Broadband Services Node; and an infrastructure that converges multi-protocol wireless access/aggregation with IP core networking, transported on self-healing, super-capacity optical rings rounded off Nortel’s end-to-end solutions.

Nortel has developed two new solutions for 3G deployment: IP Mobility solution, which allows subscribers to move seamlessly from wireline to wireless and from the office to a vehicle to the home; and the e-mobility Acceleration software that will enable mobile office applications – intranets, e-mail and Web browsing – to be delivered at speeds up to 25 times greater than existing wireless data solutions, according to Nortel.

“The ability to reach the end user, whether their computing device or appliance is linked to the wired network, a wireless LAN or a cellular PCS network, ensures freedom and mobility and may well be the Internet’s next killer application,” said Lloyd Carney, president, Wireless Internet, Nortel Networks.

Jordan Worth, an analyst with Toronto, Ont.-based IDC Canada said, “I don’t know what’s new about it. They’re taking the Internet wireless bits and shooting them through optical. They’re creating new economies for the wireless network, [but] they’re not actually changing wireless, they’re just changing the network.”

He added: “They’ve essentially created a data platform based on optical that is much cheaper than wire – that’s your basic premise. What they’ve done since then is add on services with the capabilities to leverage their optical Internet and the economy of the optical Internet into every kind of data service, any kind of voice service, any kind of wireless service. The wireless component is a hot component, it’s going to be huge, it’s growing very quickly,” he concluded.

The announcement will not affect the Canadian market place too greatly, according to John Leon, vice-president and general manager, Wireless Solutions, Canada, Nortel Networks. However, he did stress that the “Infrastructure is the network converting from the current TDM, circuit-based architecture which is very hierarchical in the network, to working off an IP backbone. The intelligence is moving out of the core of the network, or moving away from switches, to the edge.”

He added: “It’s all the same to the network and the intelligence and the opportunity here is that this intelligence is at the edge. The edge is open to everybody so anybody can come along and plug an application into the network without having to deal with proprietary standards from different vendors.”

Nortel’s internal estimates see this solution as a way for service providers to benefit from a 50 to 100 per cent increase in wireless Internet operating margins over the next five years. Nortel also announced a strategic alliance with HP to develop wireless Internet products, and Nortel plans to add 2,000 new technology jobs in Europe.

For more information on Nortel’s new products or to find out more about “Wings of Light”, visit