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Nortel chases growth with ‘forceful optimism’

Canadian telecoms equipment maker Nortel Networks revealed its strategy for the next few years Wednesday, and promised a new vigorous company blessed with “forceful optimism”.

Chief executive officer Mike Zafirovsky told reporters at a press event in London that the past is the past and for the next five years the company will be focusing on growing its business with a new management team Zafirovsky said was now “complete”.

A bullish presentation outlined the areas Nortel believes promise the most growth. “We believe that mobile video will be the next big disruptor,” Zafirovsky said, “just look at how video is changing the way people communicate in Korea and Japan”.

Zafirovsky, obviously unaware that M1 of Singapore has recently been forced to give away video calls to drum up interest, said while 3G had largely disappointed, 4G was the way forward and that mobile video was key to that move.

“We, at Nortel, are very committed to 4G … Because OFDM and MIMO will drive 4G… which has significantly better economics than 3G with far superior APEX and CAPEX than existing technologies.”

The company’s recently appointed EMEA president, Darryl Edwards, said the next big challenge facing Nortel, which recently sold its mobile access business to French firm Alcatel for $320m, was moving its customers onto next generation networks. “It’s a major challenge,” Edwards said, “but there’s a revolution going on and that’s where we see double digit growth for Nortel because that’s where we will be.”

The revolution Edwards is talking about paints a future where every human being has up to 10 or more network services available, something Nortel calls “hyperconnectivity”. Central to that vision is Nortel’s recent unified communications announcement with Microsoft which Nortel sees as a huge growth area in the short to medium term.

For 4G skeptics, Edwards had the last word: “4G and mobility. It’s Moore’s Law, you don’t know it now but you will want it… We are right there with 70 patents for OFDM and MIMO.”

Nortel also announced it had received three “significant” European contracts from the UK’s Telegraph Group, Swisscom and Craig Wireless.


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