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Ultra-Broadband

Nortel, Huawei Bid on GPON

Even before announcing their joint venture yesterday, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and Nortel Networks Ltd. had teamed up to take on broadband, targeting the fiber arena.

A Nortel spokeswoman confirmed a story in The Globe and Mail on Thursday, which quotes a Nortel general manager saying the companies submitted a joint bid in December for the U.S. RBOCs' joint request for proposals (RFP).

Presumably, that's the RFP for GPON, which AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS), and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) issued recently. The GPON RFP, which folks are unfortunately calling the "TriBOC" RFP, outlines broadband fiber plans for all three RBOCs, with aggressive schedules that called for equipment to be shipping in the first quarter of this year. (See GPON RFP Weighs In.)

Nortel was believed to be interested in the RFP, pitting itself against PON incumbents Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA). Other companies in the running include Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. , which recently disclosed its GPON plans, Hitachi Telecom (USA) Inc. , and reportedly Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU). (See Nortel: Joining the GPON Race?, GPON Vendors Line Up, and Fujitsu Preps GPON Plans.)

Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX) could also get into the mix through its acquisition of Optical Solutions Inc. (See Calix to Buy OSI.)

Huawei and Nortel announced yesterday they are establishing a joint venture in Ottawa, targeting "ultra broadband" access technologies. Ultraman was not available for comment. (See Nortel & Huawei: Broadband Buddies.)

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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