Nortel augments Australian connections

Nortel Networks has selected Australian manufacturing company GPC Electronics to build its new i2004 Internet Phone for worldwide distribution.

Designed to connect to corporate data networks, the Internet Phone is expected to generate $32 million in export revenues for Nortel in the first 12 months after shipments begin in May.

According to Reg Bird, Nortel South Asia president of service provider solutions, most of the phones are expected to be shipped to the US. "The industry is changing rapidly because of the internet. Data is taking over a significant amount of network."

The three-year agreement adds to GPC's existing relationship with Nortel. The two companies have been working together for close to 10 years and GPC is currently manufacturing Nortel's business telephones, Bird said.

Meanwhile, Matt Desch, president of services provider solutions for Nortel in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, said Nortel is on track to become the leading supplier of telecommunications solutions in Australia in the next 12 months.

Additionally, Australia is fast becoming a key market for Nortel, contributing around 5 per cent of total revenues and behind only China as the networking company's most successful market in Asia, Desch said.

Nortel is considered a number of venture capital investments in Australia. Desch said the areas of interest for Nortel include optical technology, wireless, internet applications, dot-coms and services operations.

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