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Nortel Networks Launches Single Access Platform

Nortel Networks announced Monday that it has launched a single access platform that will enable service operators to deliver converged voice and data traffic to their customers over conventional copper telephone lines.

Called Universal Edge, the new managed access product is being offered in Europe, Asia and Latin America, where it will let ISPs sell bundled services including data, video, fax and voice.

"Our aim is to help operators deliver high bandwidth services across their entire network, what we call 'megabits to the masses'," said Paul Adams, director, International Access at Nortel Networks.

"As bandwidth and intelligence move to the last mile, the integration of voice and data significantly reduces the operational costs for service operators."

Nortel Networks says that the new platform can deliver what it calls "true e-commerce and multimedia applications" using ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) and SDSL (Symmetric Digital Subscriber Line) technologies.

"Our customers care about price, reliability, services and response. These are the four hot buttons and I think the Universal Edge helps us deliver all of these to our customers," said Walter Slagle, manager of ADSL planning at Bell Atlantic.

High speed Internet services over telephone wires will compete directly with cable and satellite offerings in the UK. This week's announcement from Nortel Networks strengthens the prospects of ADSL/SDSL services by linking to high-speed optical networks.

"The multitude of services deployable from this single platform, coupled with our track record in building the Optical Internet, ensures that the Universal Edge is the best in-class next generation access platform," said Masood Tariq, VP and general manager of Nortel Networks' International Optical Networks division.