Lucent Looks To Expand Network Offerings

Lucent Technologies Inc. is eyeing an acquisition of Nexabit Networks Inc., which manufactures high-speed Internet switches, in a continuing effort to expand its networking products.

Word of the talks comes a week before Lucent is scheduled to finalize its acquisition of Ascend Communications.

According to published reports, Lucent is willing to pay between $600 million and $800 for Nexabit. Based in Malborough, Mass., the company is working on new switches that can transmit trillions of bits per second.

While Lucent’s acquisition of Ascend will give it a line of asynchronous transfer mode switches, which are designed to carry voice, data and video over the same network, it still lacks a state-of-the-art Internet router.

One of Nexabit’s biggest competitors is Avici Systems Inc. Canada’s Nortel Networks Corp., a chief rival of Lucent, is one of Avici’s largest investors.

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