NSN Likes Its Chances at AT&T

Even though it has been displaced as a domain supplier at AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), Nokia Networks thinks it will still be doing business with the carrier.

"AT&T will not restrict themselves to just these domain players," says Oliver Jahreis, head of DWDM product management at Nokia Siemens.

It's well known that Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. and Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) have been chosen as AT&T's domain suppliers for optical, meaning they've been picked as the two vendors the carrier will tap for new deployments.

Fujitsu was an expected winner. Sources say Ciena took the second spot, displacing NSN, after winning the Nortel Networks Ltd. Metro Ethernet Networks assets in auction. It's worth recalling that Ciena beat out NSN in that auction. (See Report: Ciena Scores at AT&T and NSN Hopes Dashed as Ciena/Nortel Deal OK'd.)

When asked whether they're domain suppliers or not, the vendors defer to AT&T, which declines to comment.

Jahreis doesn't specifically admit to losing the domain supplier spot, but he insists to Light Reading that NSN can still have a place at AT&T without it. That's because it would continue supporting the 40-Gbit/s systems, based on differential phase shift keying (DPSK) modulation, that AT&T is already using. That, in turn, could be a foot in the door for other products, he says.

"What is important for a big carrier is whether something fits into their operating system landscape. Out of our installed base, I think there's still opportunity open for us."

Even so, Nokia Siemens would be facing a well armed opponent. Michael Jones, formerly head of NSN's AT&T customer business team, is now at Ciena as an executive vice president.

Jones had left NSN to join Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). He then moved to Ciena sometime recently, right around the time the Nortel deal closed, according to sources -- but a Ciena spokesman says that's coincidence.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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