New optical offering answers call for more capacity following boom in online video and HD programming.
Nortel Networks is about to roll out new technology that lets telecom companies immediately quadruple the capacity of their networks to help them cope with a boom in Internet video, high-definition programming and the use of mobile video phones.
Nortel, North America's biggest maker of telephone equipment, will announce on Wednesday that it will offer an optical technology that delivers speeds of 40 gigabits per second (Gbps) -- about four times as much as today's high-end networking speeds.
While carriers will have the ability to quadruple their network speed right away, Nortel says the technology will also provide the foundation to increase capacity tenfold to 100 Gbps, as required by growth in "bandwidth-sapping" applications.
The current high-end networking speed of 10 Gbps can support the bandwidth of 1,000 high definition television channels simultaneously.
Nortel will also announce that Denmark's TDC as well as Neos Networks in the United Kingdom have purchased the new technology and that trials with other carriers are currently in progress around the world.
Nortel is betting that as more and more devices -- aside from computers and mobile phones -- begin connecting to the Internet, bandwidth demand will soar even more, spurring sales.
However, the Toronto-based company still continues to struggle with slumping demand for the gear it makes, while contending with stiff competition from Asian rivals and an uncertain economic environment.
It recently announced it would cut 2,100 jobs, mostly in North America, and move another 1,000 to low-cost locales like China and India. At the end of 2006, it had 32,550 employees.