Cisco rival Nortel liquidating assets

Company had few alternatives in light of economy, bankruptcy

Nortel this week began an asset liquidation, having failed in its attempt to transform the company into a viable competitor after filing for bankruptcy earlier this year. Nortel sold its CDMA and LTE wireless business to Nokia Siemens and is shopping around its other operations, including the enterprise unit.

Analysts say the company had little recourse but to start breaking itself up.

"Nortel's plan to sell all of its divisions, including enterprise, is the right one," says Steve Schuchart of Current Analysis. "It's been proven to this point that Nortel, as it is, cannot continue."

Customers are waiting for that enterprise show to drop, according to its enterprise user group.

"We continue to wait for news on the enterprise business specifically - and we expect that that news will be coming soon," said Victor Bohnert, executive director of the International Nortel Network User Association. "The important thing for (our 4,000+ members) is that the technology survives. This recent move may signal the beginning of the end for Nortel as it exists today."

Avaya and Siemens Enterprise Communications have reportedly shown interest in Nortel's enterprise assets. But Cisco is not expected to bid, having already essentially neutralized Nortel in enterprise accounts.

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