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Nortel Inching Up in Close Race

Nortel Networks Corp. (www.nortel.com) today unveiled the OPTera Packet Solution, technology that increases capacity and reliability on the Internet, unifying optical and packet networks.

Ever since Nortel forked over $9 billion for Bay Networks in July 1998, it's been playing catch-up with networking giants Lucent Technologies and Cisco Systems Inc. The new optical networking technology that Nortel could launch today may leapfrog the company over its two heated competitors in that space.

To get an idea of how heated the race for manageable optical networks is, consider Cisco's acquisition of Cerent Corp. Cisco purchased the relatively unknown company -- worth only $10 million -- last month for $6.9 billion in stock, just to get its hands on Cerent's wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology that pushes the bandwidth on fiber-optic networks.

Nortel's new routing and switching technology could raise the amount of traffic on the Internet from under one terabit per second to 19 terabits and beyond. -- Brian Ploskina

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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