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Optical/IP

Nortel Scores Comcast Coup

Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) has scored a DWDM win with the recently announced Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) backbone buildout, outdueling Cisco's optical division, Light Reading has learned.

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) had bid for the entire backbone but wound up with only the router portion of the project, losing out to Nortel on the DWDM side, according to one source with direct knowledge of the deal.

Analysts had already pegged Cisco and Nortel as the likely winners, beating out Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), and Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), among others (see Comcast Details $100M Upgrade and Cisco, Nortel Vie for Comcast Deal).

Cisco and Nortel officials declined comment, both saying they don't comment on rumors. Officials at Comcast did not return a call requesting comment.

Announced in January, Comcast's new backbone is being built on dark fiber provided by Level 3 Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT). The project is worth an estimated $100 million including equipment costs, by Comcast's estimate.

At the time, analysts noted that the size of the deal wasn't that big to Cisco or Nortel. But the project could provide a technology showcase for Nortel, as the source says Comcast wants to send signals as far as 120km, skipping some of the amplifier huts that sit 60km to 80km apart.

Perhaps more important is the moral victory over Cisco, which considers itself an up-and-comer in DWDM. Officials there reckon they've ascended to No. 2 in the market behind Nortel, having recently surpassed ADVA Optical Networking (Frankfurt: ADV).

Cisco's climb is particularly noteworthy considering the company got a late start compared to Nortel. "For us, everything is greenfield. A lot of Nortel's business is add-ons," said Rajiv Ramaswami, VP of Cisco's optical networking group, in an interview earlier this month.

One possible key to the win was Nortel's Common Photonic Layer, an initiative launched last summer. It represents a more modular DWDM portfolio, where optics and amplifiers can be swapped between metro and long-haul applications (see Nortel Intros DWDM Platform).

Cisco is likewise working to make DWDM more modular, as Ramaswami noted the company is developing pluggable optics usable on both routers and DWDM equipment. For example, Cisco has been shipping a 1-Gbit/s DWDM interface in a gigabit interface converter (GBIC) format for about a year, he said.

— Craig Matsumoto, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Stevery 12/5/2012 | 3:24:55 AM
re: Nortel Scores Comcast Coup eom
opticalPassion 12/5/2012 | 3:24:54 AM
re: Nortel Scores Comcast Coup The ONG products are not going anywhere in the last 2-3 years, and unlikely to go up in the future. Seriously, ONG product lines are behind what the markets need now, and are obsoleting now fastly.

This deal confirms this partially.
rocksolid 12/5/2012 | 3:24:53 AM
re: Nortel Scores Comcast Coup Great job Nortel - finally a win!

The $100M quoted in the story has got to be for more than the DWDM equipment. The vendors bidding for this have beaten themselves black and blue to be the lowest that there won't be much profit coming from this deal.

Interesting question will be what will Nortel ship for this deal? Will they use CPL with the obsolete LH1600 terminals? Or revive the cancelled DT product? Or use Optera Metro terminals? Or make Comcast wait for OME? Or all of the above in a complex kluge?
sunfanz 12/5/2012 | 3:24:51 AM
re: Nortel Scores Comcast Coup "That Avici/Nortel pact seems to be working well with Cisco getting the routing contract..."

It works really "well". Anyone know what would happen to Avici the one-and-only-one tier-1 deployment at AT&T, after the SBC deal?

CSCO and Alcatel seems to be the prime packet equipment provider for SBC.
rpacker 12/5/2012 | 3:24:51 AM
re: Nortel Scores Comcast Coup That Avici/Nortel pact seems to be working well with Cisco getting the routing contract...
OldPOTS 12/5/2012 | 3:24:50 AM
re: Nortel Scores Comcast Coup
GǣComcast wants to send signals as far as 120km, skipping some of the amplifier huts that sit 60km to 80km apart.Gǥ On GǣComcast's new backbone is being built on dark fiber provided by Level 3 Communications Inc.Gǥ

Comcast obviously wants to save money on those core long haul circuits, but do they understand the great possibility of cross-talk on L3 circuits?

Have they created a new DWDM driver or is it they are only using GigE bandwidth?

OldPOTS
purna 12/5/2012 | 3:24:49 AM
re: Nortel Scores Comcast Coup There are some possibilities to do this, and even better:
http://global.mci.com/about/ne...

Peter Heywood 12/5/2012 | 3:24:49 AM
re: Nortel Scores Comcast Coup "Anyone know what would happen to Avici the one-and-only-one tier-1 deployment at AT&T, after the SBC deal?"
------------------------------------------------
We addressed this question in the following article:

http://www.lightreading.com/do...
dc_optics 12/5/2012 | 3:24:36 AM
re: Nortel Scores Comcast Coup Not sure you are seeing the whole picture. Cisco just closed a deal for over $300 million with SoftBank in Japan which will be using all 15454's. SoftBank is the largest ISP in Japan. Oh yeah. There was the DoD deal worth $350 million. Cisco beat out Nortel, Lucent, etc.
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