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Optical/IP

Nortel Works Some Optical Wins

Nortel Networks Ltd. scored a trio of wins for its Optical Multiservice Edge (OME) 6500 platform, proving that its effort to converge optical and Ethernet functionality over its multiservice product line is starting to pay off.

The Canadian vendor today announced wins with Midcontinent Communications, Rascom, and Verizon Enterprise Solutions , as those companies seek to add high-bandwidth multimedia and enterprise services to end users. (See Nortel Hooks Up Rascom.)

Midcontinent, a triple-play services provider that operates in the Dakotas, chose Nortel to help it create a single converged network to provide voice, video, and data services to residential and business customers.

To provide those services, Midcontinent is building out an end-to-end solution, employing Resilient Packet Ring (RPR) technology based on Nortel's Metro Ethernet portfolio. Nortel will deploy its OME 6500, Optical Metro 3500, Optical Metro 5200 DWDM system, and Communications Server 2000 carrier VOIP softswitch.

Meanwhile, Russian international traffic carrier Rascom deployed Nortel optical equipment, including the company's Common Photonic Layer (CPL) series and OME 6500 equipment to extend its backbone network.

Rascom will use the Nortel equipment to enable virtual private network and Internet access services over a recently completed extension of its network between Helsinki and Stockholm.

Finally, Verizon Business chose Nortel's OME 6500 as it looks to enable converged TDM and packet services in 17 European countries and four countries across Asia.

With the Nortel equipment, Verizon Business looks to offer enterprise customers Sonet/SDH, Ethernet private line, and switched virtual Ethernet services. Verizon Business will also look to enable 10-Gbit/s Ethernet services over its DWDM network.

These announcements follow Nortel's announced upgrade to the OME 6500 in June, which added ROADM and Ethernet enhancements to the product line. With that announcement, the company joined Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU), Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. in offering optical and Ethernet functionality on a single converged platform. (See Nortel's Noisy With Optical Opportunity and Nortel Revamps Optical Gear.)

The upgrade not only positioned the OME 6500 as Nortel's flagship platform, but it will also help the company to compete in the packet-optical transport systems segment.

According to Heavy Reading, platforms that offer Sonet/SDH, wavelength switching, and connection-oriented Ethernet functionality on a single device will become the fastest-growing portion of the optical market over the next five years. (See Packet Optical Market Set to Explode.)

The 6500 cannot yet be defined as a full-featured packet-optical system, according to the Heavy Reading definition, as it has not fully integrated its ROADM or connection-oriented Ethernet onto the platform. And while ROADM functionality has been announced and is expected by the end of the year, plans for connection-oriented Ethernet are a bit fuzzier.

Nortel said over a year ago that it would add Provider Backbone Transport (PBT), the controversial connection-oriented Ethernet technology, to the 6500 platform. While the company has yet to make any new formal announcements about it, a source at Nortel says that plans to add PBT to the 6500 are still in the works.

— Ryan Lawler, Reporter, Light Reading


Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to Optical Expo 2007, a conference and exhibition that will explore critical issues facing the optical networking industry. To be staged in Dallas, October 2 & 3, admission is free for attendees meeting our prequalification criteria. For more information, or to register, click here.


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