Telecom Timeout

Jan 26 2009   6:15PM GMT

Nortel Customers: So what do you want to do?

WPeterson William Peterson Profile: WPeterson

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“Things are right dead all over” — Vulture from Disney’s The Jungle Book

Nortel Networks hasn’t made its groundbreaking (or hopefully at least ground shaking?) reorganization announcement yet, so breathing room is still tight for the beleaguered Canadian telecom equipment manufacturer, and the vultures are still circling.

In addition to the F5 buyback program we reported earlier, Extreme Networks is licking its chops at the thought of gobbling up some Metro Ethernet market share. Peter Lunk, senior director for Extreme’s Service Provider Marketing, gave us this statement:

We believe Nortel’s Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) division contains competitive products and significant intellectual property, and as a result it could be sold as part of the larger Nortel restructuring. The key asset in the division is likely the optical group, which has made good progress on 40G and 100G WDM systems.

Ever since the MEN was reported as up for sale in September, Extreme has seen Nortel’s Ethernet switching customers start to evaluate alternative vendors given the uncertainty around the future of the NT product line. These Service Providers are looking for Ethernet to support the build-out of their Carrier Ethernet service offerings, including business services consisting of Ethernet VPNs and wireless Ethernet backhaul.

This provides a great opportunity for Extreme Networks as we continue to invest in this market segment and provide these service providers a migration path that does not require a change in their network architecture.

Circling indeed, but now it seems the only people asking each other “What do you want to do?” are Nortel’s customers, which have assurances of continued equipment manufacturing but are still left in a bit of a lurch while Nortel takes the next 80 or so days to sit and strategize under the watchful eyes of its creditors.

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