11 thoughts on “Nortel Exits Optical, End of an Era”

  1. I love Nortel dearly, they gave me my first huge contract as a custom software developer back in 1998 or so. However, the company today is nothing but a miserable shell of what it used to be. Its a classic example of doing almost everything completely wrong. I remember when Nortel passed on buying Juniper… and now Juniper will do the same to them.

    In the meantime, billions of dollars in Canadian wealth have been wiped out since every granny had their retirement dollars at least partially in ever-green Northern Telecom.

  2. Very unfortunate. Yes, Nortel has (or had) it all. I have had the chance to visit their main engineering campus of MEN (Metro Ethernet Network) Group, Ottawa and the atmosphere was too poullted due to job losses. Some heads are used to roll almost every month. However, I did not see the change in work culture ever in my entire stay – hard work, dedication, real leadership, thinking out of the box, going all out, putting it all – it was not at all there. It was like Nero’s group at Rome who made fun when Rome was burning!

    I wonder what will happen to the other side, i.e., outsourcers. I mean you will see almost all of them there – Infosys, Wipro, HCL, TCS, Sasken, i2, Flextronics et al from India and Canada are there. And I guess the tune of the employees will be in thousands – which is very very huge. I really wonder where these guys will go? MEN of Nortel is itself a strong group and added to its all the people who are outsourced by various companies – Good God!


    Any idea what will happen to these folks?

    Will appreciate your thoughts on it.

  3. sad day for optical engineers…. nortel (BNR) was instrumental in creating the field of fibre optic communications. a case study for b-schools in how a company that made the first x.25 switch, dominated digital voice switching with DMS100, and lit the world’s first commercial fibre optic link (Sasketchewan in 1980) will now disappear in pieces.

  4. Carrier ethernet + optical seems to be a reasonable growth (10%?) business at 1.5B revenue and probably lots of fat to shed in the management ranks. Perhaps someone like silverlake needs to dig in here and see if they can turn it around. GM of <40% may be an issue

  5. “In the long run every race is a two or three horse race”
    The winning horses for the telecom equipment vendors:

    Wireless networks: Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens, Huawei
    Optics: Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei
    Broadband fixed access: Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei
    IP Core: Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent
    Submarine cables: NEC, Alcatel-Lucent
    IPTV: Alcatel-Lucent, Thompson
    IMS Core Network: Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson
    e2e Network Integration: Ericsson, Huawei (Mobile). Alcatel-Lucent (Fixed)

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