Nortel Networks Corp. has postponed the release of a much-anticipated switch for optical networks, according to company officials.
Nortels OPTera Connect PX switch, which would direct large amounts of data in the form of light, has been postponed indefinitely by the Canadian telecommunications equipment maker. The OPTera Connect PX switch was part of the developing product portfolio of Xros, a privately-held company that Nortel acquired in June of 2000. At that time Nortel touted Xross "silicon-based micro-mirror technology" as a key building block in the companys race to be first in building an "all-optical Internet."
"An all-optical Internet will deliver millions of instant Internet sessions, thousands of video channels, and vast amounts of e-business transactions on an unprecedented scale," said Clarence Chandran, the president of Nortel Networks Service Provider and Carrier Group at the time of the acquisition.
"Obviously there are dramatic changes in market conditions, but also Nortel believes large-scale stand alone photonic switches are likely to be longer-term market requirements," Nortel spokesperson David Chamberlin told eWeek. "So in the short term weve decided to not bring the PX to market at this time."
Chamberlin said that Wednesdays announcement should not be seen as a change in Nortels commitment to photonic switching. The technology will continue to be developed and the program will continue to be assessed, he said. The Xros switch has already been successfully trialed with customers, he noted.
Yet, "its clear that optical spending right now is focused on interconnect and bandwidth management as well as operational challenges. Obviously were going to continue to use the knowledge to develop and evolve our long-haul product line, but right now the [Optera Connect] HDX [optical switch] solution meets customer needs better than the PX," said Chamberlin.
Chamberlin said Nortel has not yet decided how Tuesdays decision will be reflected on its balance sheet.