Report: Nortel in talks to buy optical company

Nortel Networks is in preliminary talks to acquire Lightscape Technologies which makes optical transport gear and a subsidiary of Israel's ECI Telecom, for up to US$800 million, according to reports out of Israel.

The, a business Web site that tracks Israeli companies, said a contingent of 30 Nortel executives were recently in Israel performing due diligence on Lightscape. Lightscape recently announced its XDM optical transport system for metro and regional networks in the US.: Lightscape beams from metro to regional netsThe system combines dense wave division multiplexing, SONET add/drop muxing and digital cross-connect capabilities for wavelength and subwavelength grooming and delivery of gigabit data services.

A Nortel spokeswoman says the company does not comment on "rumor or speculation." A Lightscape spokeswoman was said to be traveling and unavailable for comment.

Nortel currently offers the OPTera Metro portfolio for metropolitan optical networking. This line currently comprises eight products offering varying levels of support for DWDM, SONET and data protocols.

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