Sprint and Nortel enter partnership

Sprint Corp. and Nortel Networks Corp. have entered into a co-marketing and joint sales alliance designed to attract subscribers to the packet telephony services the two are building out as a result of last November’s billion-dollar supply contract.

The alliance combines Sprint’s network and network management services with Nortel’s voice and data products, and is intended to deliver next-generation telephony. It is a follow-on to the US$1.1 billion contract Sprint awarded Nortel last fall to convert Sprint’s Local Telecommunications Division network from digital circuit-switched to packet-switched technology.

Indeed, the initial program offered through the alliance will be a converged voice and data offering in Sprint’s local service territories. This offering is designed to allow customers to implement call centers, unified messaging and advanced voice applications without having to maintain their own voice and data network equipment.

Sprint and Nortel also expect to jointly develop other product “solutions,” sales opportunities and marketing strategies across all Sprint business units worldwide. The companies plan to harness Sprint’s frame relay network, which is based on Nortel equipment, to deliver these “solutions,” which will include optical and data as well as frame relay and next-generation telephony.

In addition, Sprint North Supply will distribute select Nortel Networks products to Sprint affiliates and North American customers.