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Managing Editor

Cable and wireless

May 13, 20042 mins

* Nortel in MSO VoIP pact, Lucent in 1xRTT win

Chalk up some more wins for beleaguered giant Nortel and its rival Lucent. Nortel had another VoIP win – this time with a cable MSO, a market analysts believe will be a ripe one for the Canadian telecom company – and Lucent landed a significant wireless pact with U.S. Cellular.

Nortel said it expanded a 20-month-old relationship with cable company Charter Communications with a deal to supply softswitches for VoIP service in Charter’s Midwest and Great Lakes regions. Charter will deploy Nortel’s Succession Communication Server 2000-Compact softswitches, subject to the execution of a definitive agreement.

Charter also intends to deploy Nortel’s Multimedia Communication Server 5200 in a 2004 market trial of multi-media service delivery to businesses and residences.

The Charter VoIP architecture will include the capability to communicate between a Session Initiation Protocol server and a PacketCable qualified Call Management Server, Nortel said. In September 2002, Charter deployed cable VoIP service in North America using Nortel equipment.

Nortel also said it will resell PacketCable-capable VoIP media gateways from Nuera Communications. Nuera’s Orca BTX-21 and BTX-8 gateways will be integrated with Nortel’s softswitch and communicate with the device via the PacketCable Trunk Gateway Control Protocol.

Nortel says the Nuera gateways will complement its own Passport Packet Voice Gateways, which supports the older H.248 protocol, and Primary Rate Interface and V5.2 interfaces.

Lucent, meanwhile, said it received a $150 million award from U.S. Cellular to provide equipment, software and professional services to upgrade its CDMA2000 1xRTT network in Chicago. The Lucent-supplied infrastructure will help U.S. Cellular increase network capacity and support high-speed mobile data services, such as Internet access, access to corporate Intranets and files, and instant messaging at speeds of up to 153K bit/sec.

U.S. Cellular’s network currently supports CDMA 1xRTT voice and data offerings, but the Lucent gear will help usher in VoIP and 1xEV-DO capabilities, Lucent says.

In December 2002, Lucent and U.S. Cellular announced an agreement for equipment to support U.S. Cellular’s conversion to CDMA 1xRTT technology. That upgrade began in October 2002 and is scheduled for completion in 2004.

Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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