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Nortel Networks Shifts Into High Gear

With the growing number of Internet users demanding faster connection speeds, Nortel Networks Tuesday debuted a new cable that is capable of carrying 6.4 terabits per second of Internet traffic over a single, hair-thin strand of fiber.

As part of its optical networking product line, the fiber broke Nortel's (NT) own speed and capacity record by using more of the light spectrum so that increased traffic can be carried on a single fiber, Nortel said. The technology will be used as part of a 40 to 80-gigabit-per-second platform, capable of increasing capacity as high as 6.4 Tbps through Dense-Wavelength Division Multiplexing (D-WDM) technology.

D-WDM combines channels of light into one beam for increased traffic capacity on a single fiber, providing sufficient speed and capacity to reliably connect 2500 backbone routers on a fiber pair.

"Today we've set a new Internet and networking 'land speed record' using light," said John Roth, president and chief executive officer, Nortel Networks.

"This unprecedented technology. . .will provide the necessary foundation for a new high-performance Internet built on extreme capacity optical networking in the backbone, and integrated optical and packet signaling at the core. This will in turn drive massive discontinuities in every business, creating a new era for communication, collaboration and commerce."

The global optical networking market is expected to reach $35 billion by 2002, with capacity requirements doubling every nine months. And according to a recent survey conducted by research firm The Yankee Group, 41 percent of Net surfers were very interested in high-speed Internet access and an additional 43 percent were somewhat interested.

"Nortel Networks is dedicated to ensuring our customers have the exponential capacity needed to meet explosive bandwidth demand driven by advanced applications and services," said Anil Khatod, president of Nortel Networks' optical Internet unit.