Nortel rides VoIP into Europe

Nortel Networks is riding its VoIP technology into Europe in hopes of filling a communications vacuum that was left by the bursting of the internet bubble.

Canadian telecom giant Nortel Networks Corp. is using its wireless and voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) technology to spearhead a push into the European communications market.

Mike Zafirovski, Nortel president and chief executive officer, said Wednesday that his company has signed several new deals — in Britain, Greece, Switzerland and Russia — that he hopes will pave the way for more sales in Europe.

"We will drive simple and effective convergence," he announced in London, referring to Nortel's strength in communications technology. "The bandwidth glut left by the internet bubble bursting has disappeared and we clearly see the opportunity for next-generation optical and backbone transport networks."

Nortel is using the flag "Business Made Simple" as part of a marketing strategy for the European market that will focus on three areas:

  • Mobility and Convergence.
  • Enterprise Transformation.
  • Services and Solutions.

Nortel's goals are ambitious. In the Mobility and Convergence area, Zafirovski said: "We aim to capture the video explosion and, with IMS [a system for sending audio and video over data networks], ensure next-generation convergence services become a reality at an affordable price point."

With Enterprise Transformation, Nortel aims to tie communications systems more tightly to the software that runs businesses. "We will … re-invent voice and further blur the lines between IT and telephony," he promised.

With Services and Solutions, Nortel wants to offer customers "powerful bundles and integration capabilities, freeing customers to integrate and manage as much or as little of their network as they want."

Nortel said it has signed deals in all three areas.

In the Mobility and Convergence area, Golden Telecom is expanding its Russian optical network to increase its voice and broadband services across the region, while Comcor Group will provide Nortel VoIP and broadband services to residents of Moscow.

In Greece, Craig Wireless intends to roll broadband services across Athens and three other major Greek cities.

In the field of Enterprise Transformation, Britain's Telegraph Group of newspapers is equipping its reporters with anytime, anywhere communications through internet-based communication tools, while the Economist Group of magazine publishers is setting up an internet system to allow its editors and analysts to communicate more effectively.

And with Services and Solutions, Switzerland's Swisscom has launched abusiness VoIP service that uses Nortel technology.

Nortel shares fell by sixcents to close at $2.34 on the Toronto Stock Exchange Wednesday.