Telefónica and Nortel Confirm Deal

LOS ANGELES (07/17/2000) - Spanish carrier Telefónica de España SA and Nortel Networks Corp. Monday confirmed that in the third quarter of this year they will start building a fiber-optic network to connect Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S.

Telefónica's subsidiary, Emergia, is building a 23,000-kilometer submarine and terrestrial broadband network in Latin America that will connect Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Perú, Colombia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and Florida, according to a statement from Nortel.

Ontario-based Nortel will support the terrestrial segment of the network with its OPTera product line, including OPTera Long Haul1600, which can transport 1.6T-bps (bits per second) in one fiber, said Nortel.

Ernesto Ortiz, Nortel Latin America's spokesman, said earlier this month that Nortel would announce plans for construction of a fiber-optic pan-regional network for a Latin America telecommunications provider. Ortiz did not disclose the name of the provider, but IDG News Service learned that it is Telefónica.

[See "Nortel, Telefónica to Build LatAm Network", July 7, 2000]With the network, Emergia expects to carry more than 46 million simultaneous telephone calls, which means some 430,000 video channels or 28 million Internet connections simultaneously, according to Monday's prepared statement.

Telefónica and Nortel have been working together in Latin America during the last 10 years. Madrid-based Telefónica has more than 60 million customers from a potential market of more than 550 million people in Latin America, Europe, the U.S. and Africa, the statement said. Together with its Internet subsidiary, Terra Networks SA, Telefónica has customers in Argentina, Chile, Perú and México.

Nortel has an important presence in the region through its deals with larger players, such as Mexico's dominant carrier Teléfonos de México SA de CV (Telmex), Brazil's Empresa Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes (Embratel) and Impsat Fiber Networks Inc.

Nortel Networks Corp., based in Brampton, Ontario, can be reached at +1-905-863-0000 or http://www.nortelnetworks.com/. Nortel's Latin America offices in Sunrise, Florida, can be reached at +1-954-851-88-86. Telefónica, based in Madrid, can be reached at +34-1-584-0844 or at http://www.telefonica.es/.

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