Cisco, Nortel, others form Tahoe Networks

Some of the industry's top networking and mobile telecommunication companies are throwing their weight behind the creation of Tahoe Networks Inc., a new company focused on developing a bridge between wireless networks and existing data networks and the Internet.

Tahoe Networks will develop network infrastructure and operations systems for the point in mobile data networks where subscribers are brought together into data networks, the company said in a statement Wednesday. Backing San Jose, California-based Tahoe Networks are Cisco Systems Inc., Nortel Networks Corp., Redback Networks Inc. and Shasta Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Nortel, along with mobile telecommunication infrastructure manufacturers L.M. Ericsson Telephone Co. and Nokia Corp., and network operator Sonera Corp.

Venture capital firms Redpoint Ventures and Accel Partners have provided US$38 million in initial funding, the company said. Tahoe Networks will be led by the co-founders of IP (Internet Protocol) gateway and positioning system provider Shasta Networks, Anthony Alles and Arthur Lin. Alles will serve as the company's chief executive officer, while Lin has been named its president and chief technical officer. Shasta Networks was acquired by Nortel in April 1999 for $340 million.

Tahoe Networks will target service operators with their technology and will support mobile data networks, including GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications), CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) and public wireless LANs for coverage of major mobile markets in Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Americas, the company said. The company's platform will converge different wireless access technologies to allow for universal wireless terminals and permit roaming across multiple networks, the company said.

The company also will work to provide capabilities to link mobile users to corporate networks and applications, Tahoe Networks said. Some of Tahoe Networks' technology thrusts will require improvements to existing Internet protocols, and it plans to work with industry standards bodies and the mobile data network community in their evolution.

Tahoe Networks will have centers in San Jose, California and Tampere, Finland.

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