Nortel touts strength in optical

* Nortel shows latest optical technology from its Metro Ethernet Networks division

In the midst of bankruptcy protection, Nortel took some time to point out its strength in optical networking at a trade show this week.

Podcast: Can Nortel come back from the brink?

At the OFC/NFOEC show in San Diego, Nortel reminded everyone that it still has game in optical - in fact, the company was ranked tops in shipments of 40Gbps equipment in the fourth quarter of last year by the Dell'Oro Group. The research firm found that Nortel had a 32% share.

Nortel also noted that it has 44 customer wins so far for its 40Gbps equipment, and recently shipped its 1,000th 40Gbps wavelength (which sounds like an odd way to measure success, but there you go).

The equipment is produced by Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks division, which Nortel had been shopping around to other vendors since last year. More recently, though, Nortel has indicated that it was reconsidering its decision to sell off the division and was reported to be shopping other pieces of the company.

Part of the strength of the optical equipment lies in what Nortel calls its Adaptive Optical Engine, which uses digital signal processing to compensate for any signal degradations across the fiber-optic lines. The technology allows Nortel to offer a path from 10Gbps to 40Gbps to 100Gbps without overhauling the network.

Nortel says it has had several field trials of 100Gbps networks with Comcast and Verizon.

At the show, Nortel was expected to conduct several demonstrations, including one of traffic traversing a 1,000-km span of fiber at 100Gbps.

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

SD-WAN buyers guide: Key questions to ask vendors (and yourself)