RealTime IT News

Partners to the Core

After a long lull, there's been a lot of action in the core router market lately. With heavy movement under way by the likes of Cisco, Axiowave and Juniper, electronics giant Hitachi and computer and network systems specialist NEC Corp. dialed in to opportunities out east to spice up the game.

Cisco released its much-anticipated "Huge Fast Router", and followed closely with its $89 million purchase of Procket Networks' assets. Around the same time, Axiowave, a startup with deep pockets, launched its core router to compete with Cisco, Juniper and other heavy hitters.

Now, NEC and Hitachi announced they will launch a joint venture in Japan in October, citing growing broadband demand in the country. The companies will build backbone routers for telecom carriers, government agencies and large corporations.

Since 2001, the Japanese government has been looking to make the nation more competitive through IT. One of the goals of its "e-Japan initiative" is to establish an advanced Internet network.

"There are emerging business opportunities in establishing new Internet Protocol (IP)-based, network service infrastructure among telecom operators and service providers," said Isao Ono, Hitachi senior vice president and executive officer said in a statement. "The trend is also seen on a global scale."

The new company will be located in Tokyo with about 350 employees from both companies. Hitachi will own 60 percent, and NEC will own 40 percent.

It will supply products to Hitachi and NEC, which will market them to their individual clients. The yet-unnamed firm will also market its products through its business partners under the new company's own brand name.

Hitachi and NEC said the joint venture will produce high-end products in a "timely manner"; however, the companies did not release timetables. A spokeswoman for NEC was not immediately available for comment.