Nortel to invest $350 m. in India

By : |October 30, 2000 0

BANGALORE: In a reaffirmation of its commitment to India, Nortel Networks of
the US has said it will spend up to $350 million over the next three years in
India on Internet infrastructure. "The time is ripe for high-performance
Internet to come to India, both optical and wireless. If India is to play a
leading role in the global Internet economy, the time to build tomorrow’s
Internet infrastructure is now," says Nortel Networks COO Clarence Chandran.

Nortel Networks plans to play a leadership role in building next generation
Internet infrastructure linking major commerce centers. Nortel Networks will
work with local operators and allies to build next generation 10-gigabit optical
networks that will bring high-performance Internet to India and double today’s
backbone bandwidth with the potential to increase it 160-fold in future. At
present, Nortel Networks’ optical backbones carry 75 per cent of North America’s
Internet traffic and 50 per cent of Europe’s, according to market analysts.

As part of its investment in building India’s Internet knowledge base,
Nortel Networks plans to hire an additional 500 research and development
(R&D) scientists and engineers over the next three years; expand software
development activities with its allies; establish a Center of Excellence with
leading Indian universities to advance R&D and training and attract new
students to next generation communications disciplines. Nortel Networks also
plans to open an Internet Knowledge Center for developing Internet expertise in
technologies, applications and professional services.

A portion of Nortel Networks’ $350 million spend will be committed to
improving India’s export profile and performance. This includes expansion of
the company’s R&D facilities, expansion of existing development activities
with current allies and setting up a professional services center.

Nortel Networks will invite service providers and potential allies to
dedicate a percentage of the backbone capacity to make the high-performance
Internet accessible at no cost for e-governance and education initiatives. It
will also contribute technology and skills to such initiatives. "Nortel
Networks is committed to assisting India’s businesses, Internet Service
Providers and government organizations in developing a world class optical
Internet and wireless Internet infrastructure capable of making a significant
contribution to the country’s economic and social progress," said
Chandran. By 2005, the number of Internet users in India is expected to grow
from 6.16 million this year to over 62 million, cellular subscribers are
forecast to reach 5.8 million, and India’s Internet economy is expected to
soar from $30 million in 2000 to more than $9.3 billion.

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