Nortel Dominating News

[Brampton, ONTARIO] Not one to hide behind the shadows of today’s high-tech leviathans, Nortel Networks Corp. has been making headlines across North America with news of deal brokering, Web tracking technology and a much-hyped AOL alliance.

Promising to be the year’s biggest financing in Canada, the Brampton-based telco has started surveying investment dealers for the multi-billion-dollar spinoff of its optical components arm. The company’s chief executive officer, John Roth, originally whetted investors’ appetites in September by announcing that Nortel was considering selling between 10 and 15 percent of its optical components business in an initial public offering. The unit is reportedly worth between $25-billion (U.S.) and $32-billion (U.S.) and the proposed IPO could help Nortel wrangle anywhere from $2.5-billion to more than $4-billion from the share sale.

Just as investors began fighting for a slice of Nortel’s lucrative pie, the company unveiled a suite of new products as part of its new Personal Internet initiative. Promising to help create long-term revenue opportunities for service and content providers, these products will enable Internet service providers to monitor their customers’ browsing habits and personal preferences. In turn, ISPs will be able to deliver specialized content and targeted advertising on any browser-capable device.

The roll-out, scheduled for the middle of this year, is expected to capitalize on today’s “content boom” which is being accelerated by broadband adoption, consumer demand for new content, business applications outsourcing and the proliferation of Web-enabled devices. In fact, according to research firm RHK, the content-related market opportunity is expect to grow to over $33-billion (U.S.) in the next three years.

The privacy debate is certain to rear its ugly head, but not before Nortel delves headfirst into a new marketing strategy with AOL Time Warner. Under the alliance, Nortel will collaborate with AOL to develop and market AOL Time Warner’s voice services platform, using AOLby Phone software and technology, to enable a variety of businesses to voice-enable their Web sites. In addition, Time Warner Cable and Nortel will participate in a technology trial to deliver rich new content to cable, online, print and broadcast consumers.

News Around the Web