Zafirovski maps out Nortel strategy

Zafirovski maps out Nortel strategy

Nortel is positioned to take advantage of exploding network and bandwidth demands

Nortel Networks president and CEO, Mike Zafirovski hast told shareholders the company wants to become a leader in helping companies and carriers take advantage of an explosion of network connections, according to a company statement.

The network infrastructure vendor, plagued by an accounting scandal and a series of financial restatements, was uniquely equipped for what Zafirovski called hyperconnectivity, Nortel said.

This trend, driven by a desire to be connected everywhere, woulf put more devices on networks and make bandwidth demands shoot up, he said. It would include communication from person to person, person to machine and machine to machine.

Nortel's combined experience in wired and wireless networks and in serving both enterprises and service providers gives it an edge over other vendors, according to Zafirovski. However, that very breadth of expertise puts the company up against many big competitors, including Cisco Systems, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya and the newly formed Nokia Siemens Networks.

Zafirovski, who came to Nortel in 2005, has made numerous changes to get the company back on course.

Nortel has shaped its strategy to focus on leading the market for next-generation mobility and converged fixed-mobile systems, as well as for transforming enterprise networks, Zafirovski said. It also planned to play a significant role in the services business.

Nortel has a partnership with Microsoft to develop unified Internet Protoco communications systems for enterprises and carriers. And last year Nortel agreed to sell its Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) access infrastructure business to Alcatel-Lucent, leaping ahead to ourth-generation mobile technologies while continuing to develop products for the older Global System for Mobile Communications and other wireless technologies.

Earlier in the week, Nortel disclosed some of its financial results for the first quarter of 2007 and confirmed its predictions for the full year. The company expects to announce that revenue for the quarter rose 4 per cent from a year earlier to $US2.48 billion. For the full year, the company expects revenue to be flat or down slightly from the previous year due to the UMTS divestiture.

Nortel also named David Drinkwater as its chief financial officer, replacing Peter Currie, who left the company on Monday. Drinkwater had been the company's chief legal officer since December 2005.

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