continue to strengthen its
ties to China, announcing Friday a contract to provide voice over IP (VOIP)
equipment to China Telecommunications Corp.
Nortel, in the middle of merger
talks with wireless phone maker Motorola Inc.
continues to make progress in closing wireline and wireless deals around
Nortel already has packet-handling technology installed at
British Telecom Spain, ish (in Germany), Sprint
Friday’s contract, for an amount Nortel officials declined to elaborate on,
puts softswitches, interactive media servers and other next-generation
equipment in central offices throughout Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and
Shenzhen for field trials. The equipment will service both wireless and
Robert Mao, Nortel Networks China president and chief executive officer,
said the deal is a chance to prove the technology’s worth to Chinese telecoms.
“Nortel Networks is committed to working with China Telecom and other
Chinese carriers to transform their existing, separate networks into
single, cost-effective converged infrastructures, creating reliable
platforms for future, feature-rich, revenue-generating services,” he said.
China Telecom is a good place to start convincing Chinese carriers to
invest in Nortel equipment: in addition to 179 million telephone users and
32 million Internet users, the carrier is also the official company serving
the government of the People’s Republic of China.
Nortel’s good fortune in China began last July, when China Telecom
subsidiary Guangdong Telecom signed
on the equipment maker to supply its network backbone with OPTera switches.
The deal had an estimated worth of $10 million and obviously pleased the
subsidiary’s owners, for they signed Nortel to a subsequent
$18 million deal in September 2001, this time to power up the 2008 Olympic
Games in Beijing and selected provinces throughout China.
Three months later, Nortel signed
a $15 million contract with China Mobile, putting equipment to support its