Nortel to buy Cambrian, fibre optics company

Nortel Networks announced last week it intends to purchase Cambrian Systems, a developer of dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) solutions, for $US300 million.

Nortel Networks plans on combining its own optical technology with Cambrian's Optera product line to deliver a ring-based DWDM solution for metropolitan area networks (MANs) -- the connections between carrier switching centres, ISPs, and corporate networks. DWDM technology allows for increased capacity on a fiber optic cable.

The ring-based technology bridges the MAN to the optical core, pushing optical networking to the edge of a network. In addition, Cambrian's Optera products work with many major protocols, including IP and ATM, providing flexibility.

Combining the technologies, the companies hope to provide a solution that reduces capital and operating costs for carriers and service providers by eliminating the need for service-specific network elements and cost fiber infrastructure buildouts.

"The metropolitan area network has become a bottleneck and this solution, this ring-based optical network, delivers" better performance and reliability, according to a Nortel company representative.

Nortel is buying Cambrian from several different stakeholders, the largest of which is Newbridge Networks. The acquisition is expected to be completed within 30 days.