Nortel, Telefónica to Build LatAm Network

LOS ANGELES (07/07/2000) - Nortel Networks Corp. plans to announce next week that it is building a fiber-optic pan-regional network for a major new telecommunications provider in Latin America, a company spokesman said Friday.

The network will help improve voice, data and video traffic in the region to support the Internet and electronic commerce as well as increased demand for high-speed connections, said Ernesto Ortiz, Nortel's public relations director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Although Ortiz would not disclose the name of Nortel's telecom customer or any further information about next week's announcement, sources close to the company told IDG News Service that the customer is Spanish carrier Telefónica de Espana SA.

Telefónica and its Internet division Terra Networks SA already have a broad presence in Latin America with operations in countries such as Argentina, Chile, Perú and México.

Existing Nortel customers in Latin America include major regional players such as Mexico's dominant carrier Teléfonos de México S.A. (Telmex), Brazil's Empresa Brasileira de Telecomunicacoes (Embratel) and Impsat Fiber Networks Inc., Ortiz said.

Nortel research concluded that, by 2003, the global market for optical technology is expected to total an estimated US$90 billion up from $31 billion last year, according to Ortiz.

With offices in Canada, the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America, Nortel claims to be a global leader in telephony, data wireless and wireline solutions for the Internet.

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 Miami 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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