Nortel Networks, HP partner on wireless

As part of its rollout of advanced 3G (third generation) wireless technologies, network equipment maker Nortel Networks has signed a strategic alliance with Hewlett-Packard to develop products and services for the wireless Internet, the companies announced on Monday.

"Many companies announce alliances and don't end up delivering; I can guarantee you will see HP products with Nortel solutions," said Lloyd Carney, president of Nortel's wireless internet network solutions division, during a press conference held in Paris and broadcast over the web.

Carney declined to disclose the financial terms of the partnership or when the first products would be available on the mass market.

Nortel also announced its Acceleration software as well as new IP (internet protocol) technology connecting terrestrial and wireless networks.

Nortel Networks will concentrate its wireless strategy in Europe, opening two new "Wireless Centres of Excellence" in Spain and Germany. "The locations have not yet been chosen, though they will be pretty close to a university structure," said Clarence Chandran, president of Nortel's service provider and carrier group.

Chandran said total investment in the project will be revealed when Nortel is ready to announce the location of the new centres. "It will be in the millions, though; it will not be a small number," he said.

Nortel plans to create 2000 new high-technology jobs in Europe as part of its wireless strategy, as well as award $US3.3 million in university scholarships for the further development of wireless technology, both Chandran and Carney confirmed.

"Europe is, right now, ground zero in the wireless space. Europe dominates, and we want to take advantage of that to dominate the wireless market. By 2003, Nortel's goal is to have 25 per cent of the 3G wireless market, which will be about $5.78 billion," Carney said.

The Acceleration "e-mobility" software, which should be available by the end of August, combines file-specific data compression and optimisation technologies, allowing current wireline office applications (such as large Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint) to work on wireless channels, Carney said.

The Acceleration software is already being tested and will use GSM (global system for mobile communications), CDMA (code division multiple access), TDMA (time division multiple access) and CDPD (cellular digital packet data) air interface technologies, Carney said.

According to Carney, 3G wireless network infrastructures will support data rates up to 100 times faster than current rates.

"We've already established ourselves as the leader in terrestrial optical technology. Our IP Mobility solution will enable us to lead the IP revolution 'in the air' by harnessing the potential of the high performance, optical internet backbone with 3G wireless internet capabilities to deliver speedy, reliable web access in a highly secure fashion," Carney said.

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