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Optical/IP

Cisco, Nortel Score Comcast Wins

(Nasdaq: CSCO) and (NYSE/Toronto: NT) are the big winners in 's (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) fiber buildout, the cable operator announced today.

Comcast says it picked Cisco's CRS-1 core router and Nortel's Common Photonic Layer, including the Optical Multiservice Edge 6500, as part of a new fiber backbone. (See Comcast Picks Cisco's CRS-1 and Comcast Picks Nortel.)

Light Reading had reported both choices in March, shortly after Comcast announced the project. Comcast estimates the complete fiber backbone, running on dark fiber supplied by (Nasdaq: LVLT), will cost $100 million in equipment. (See Nortel Scores Comcast Coup and Cisco, Nortel Vie for Comcast Deal.)

For Cisco, the deal is another big name attached to the CRS-1, the flagship router in the company's IP Next-Generation Network (NGN) architecture being pitched to service providers. Comcast had let the news slip last week by including itself in a Cisco press release and in an LRTV video produced for Cisco. (See Cisco's CRS-1 Goes Optical and IP Routing for Next-Generation Networks.)

The news is likewise big for Nortel. It not only gets a showcase for its DWDM technology but can also claim it bested Cisco, which reportedly bid for the whole project.

Philippe Morin, general manager of Nortel's optical solutions business says Comcast is Nortel's 20th optical win with cable operators in 2005. "For optical, it has really been a good year," he says. Nortel's announced deals in cable optical include Time Warner Cable, Rogers Cable Inc., and Cox Communications Inc. (NYSE: COX).

Inside of Comcast, though, Nortel and Cisco will have to get along. Comcast has initated them both into the Optical Transport Initiative, a Comcast-created collective aimed at making the IP and optical layers interoperate. (See Comcast Melds Optical, IP.)

Meanwhile, Cisco is shifting its product emphasis away from the TDM side of optical networking. The company has told Light Reading it's moving roughly 80 employees out of optical jobs, part of a strategy shift towards more packet-oriented boxes. (See Cisco Swaps Opto Jobs.)

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Honestly 12/5/2012 | 2:51:01 AM
re: Cisco, Nortel Score Comcast Wins LR,
I think this is officially now the 3rd time you have announced this win. Its not that big, nor is it an IP deployment. Is this great coverage part of the cost of Cisco's LR TV budget.


We know Cisco is desperate to show value for its CRS flop, but you must have real news to report.
Honestly 12/5/2012 | 2:51:01 AM
re: Cisco, Nortel Score Comcast Wins LR,
I think this is officially now the 3rd time you have announced this win. Its not that big, nor is it an IP deployment. Is this great coverage part of the cost of Cisco's LR TV budget.


We know Cisco is desperate to show value for its CRS flop, but you must have real news to report.
gotman 12/5/2012 | 2:51:00 AM
re: Cisco, Nortel Score Comcast Wins Honestly, I'm sorry your new hacked interface didn't get a lot of press here(just a bit), just be patient, its not fair i know!
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 2:50:55 AM
re: Cisco, Nortel Score Comcast Wins I was under the impression that the cable cos invested $95M in upgrades during the past 10 years to be broadband and digital-ready. The size of this contract implies that this is not the case. Did they buy the wrong stuff? Are they not ahead of the telecom guys after all this effort?
laserboy 12/5/2012 | 2:50:51 AM
re: Cisco, Nortel Score Comcast Wins Cable cos spent around $95 billion (not million) dollars to upgrade their HFC plants for higher bandwidth and two-way communications. This bid seems to be related to the core. Kudos for Nortel and Cisco.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 2:50:50 AM
re: Cisco, Nortel Score Comcast Wins
The $95B is basically the sum of capex spent by cable companies over like a 10 year timeframe. Given that telco capex is many times that over the same timeframe, one wonders why they keep harping on that number?

seven
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 2:50:41 AM
re: Cisco, Nortel Score Comcast Wins Dear Laserboy,
Thanks for the M-to-B correction. It looked fishy as I typed it, but I forged ahead anyway.

What I wonder now is why or even how cable cos would spend $95B on a fiber infrastructure and not have a core they wanted? Was the $95B for just dumb one-way pipes feeding a few video servers? Is this new investment for two-way traffic or what? What new features will the CSCO and NT gear provide? Why do they need it so bad thwy nust double their initial investment?
ragho 12/5/2012 | 2:50:40 AM
re: Cisco, Nortel Score Comcast Wins
materialgirl,

You're right. That's because most local HFC plants were fed by sat dishes, all for downstream video. The plant upgrades were never intended to carry bi-directional traffic (except for items like DVS return path).

DOCSIS changed all that with voice and data.

Regardless of whether cable or FTTx wins, FITC (Fiber in the Core) has already won :-)

-ragho
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