Nortel to quadruple network speeds

March 11, 2008 – 3:22 PM

Nortel Networks said Tuesday that it has developed new optical networking gear that can quadruple the capacity on telecommunications networks.

The new technology is designed to help network operators deal with bandwidth-gobbling applications like high-definition Internet video.

Nortel, the largest supplier of telephony gear in North America, plans to announce Wednesday that it has developed gear that can shuttle traffic across the Internet backbone at speeds of 40 gigabits per second, according to news wire service Reuters.

Nortel says the technology has the ability to provide a tenfold increase in network speeds, giving operators the ability to transfer data at 100Gbps. Denmark’s TDC and the U.K.’s Neos Networks will be named as Nortel’s first customers, Reuters said. Trials with other carriers around the world are currently ongoing.

Many carriers throughout the world are likely looking to upgrade their networks as customers use the Internet to access more bandwidth-intensive applications, like high-definition video. Today’s high-capacity networks support speeds of 10Gbps, which is enough bandwidth to transfer about 1,000 high-definition television channels simultaneously.

A new upgrade cycle for faster-speed optical networking gear couldn’t come too soon for Nortel. The company has been struggling to regain its footing after it was shaken by scandal and poor financial performance over the last few years. The company recently announced poor financial results and said it would cut 2,100 jobs, mostly in North America. It also has plans to move another 1,000 jobs to lower-cost locations such as China and India.


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