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PacketFront Edges Nortel in Sweden

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News Analysis
Light Reading
3/24/2004

Alternative broadband system supplier PacketFront AB has won a contract with a Swedish carrier to replace Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT) edge switches.

Swedish vendor PacketFront is to supply its ASR 4000 broadband routers and its BECS control and provisioning software to broadband service provider Mälarenergi Stadsnät AB, a city carrier in Västerås, about 150 kilometers from Stockholm. Mälarenergi runs fiber to more than 22,000 homes and more than 1,700 businesses and is in expansion mode.

While no exact value has been given to the deal, PacketFront CEO Martin Thunman reckons the contract will involve between 2,000 and 3,000 routers (each with 24 ports) and be worth more than $10 million once Mälarenergi reaches its target of connecting 50,000 homes by 2007.

PacketFront's system will be used in all new rollouts, and during the next year will replace the Nortel BayStack 450 edge switches currently installed, confirms Mälarenergi managing director Robert Kjellberg.

However, the Canadian vendor will still be a major partner for Mälarenergi, as the service provider's backbone is built with Passport 8600 routers. "We still have a very good relationship with Nortel," says Kjellberg. "We have invested heavily to get a high standard in our core network, and there is no need for us to change that."

But Mälarenergi has found the need to change its edge gear supplier to meet its services strategy. Kjellberg says the PacketFront system will give his company the quality of service it needs for IP telephony and bandwidth-hungry services such as gaming, as well as better administration of the network and decreased cost of installation, support, and maintenance of the edge switches.

Thunman adds that this success is due to the combination of the router's operating system and the BECS OSS that allows for real-time self-provisioning by the customers. "We don't claim to have the best router, and we don't claim to have the best software, but the combination of our routers and software gives carriers features and functionality they can't get elsewhere," boasts the CEO.

PacketFront has also had success outside its home territory in recent months, and Thunman claims to have hosted interested parties from carriers around the world, including Japan and Korea (see Dutch Player Uses PacketFront, PacketFront Broadbands Malaysia, PacketFront Touts ADSL, Canadian Contract, and PacketFront Crosses the Pond).

— Ray Le Maistre, International Editor, Boardwatch

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