OTTAWA (Reuters) – Demand for fiber-optic network telecoms equipment is starting to creep back, Nortel Networks Corp. said on Thursday, following a long slump sparked by the burst of the tech bubble.
“That Internet bubble that happened in 2000, where we over-built the optical domain, and everybody said we’d never catch up — we are,” said chief technology officer John Roese.
“I’ve talked to CTOs and CEOs of large carriers over the last two months and … a couple have said ‘We’re not sure why, but our pipes are filling up’.”
New services, such as video, broadband access, and mobile Internet are all consuming bandwidth, said Roese, speaking to Ottawa technology executives with his boss, Nortel chief executive Mike Zafirovski. “And it’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Roese said.
“We are focusing a huge amount of R&D on making sure that we have continuous innovation and that we lead this next generation of the optical Internet,” he said.
“Which many of us, maybe three or four years ago, thought would never happen. We are beginning it now, and it will be absolutely critical for the next 10 years.”
Nortel created a new Metro Ethernet Networks unit earlier this year, appointing as president its former optical networking unit general manager. The technology supports advanced wireless, television and multimedia services.