Farewell, Nortel. The century-old Canadian telecom equipment maker announced last week further sales of its assets, killing off what little hope remained for the company's resuscitation. Trace back Nortel's rocky road to collapse, from the recent sale of its CDMA/LTE business to filing for bankruptcy in early 2009 to its launch from Northern Telecom a dozen years ago.
- August 12, 2009:
the Avaya-Nortel news means for voice customers -- It came as no surprise when Avaya made a
$475 million bid for Nortel's enterprise division. But what does this possible Avaya-Nortel deal
mean for Nortel's voice customers? In this podcast, our news writer discusses how customers might
need to alter their purchasing cycles and wait to see what products will continue to be sold
through the new Avaya-Nortel body.
- August 10, 2009: The
new Nortel: Will LTE patents revive Nortel? -- Nortel has lost the battle, but has it lost the
war? This 127-year-old company may have yet another card up its proverbial sleeve: patents. Nortel
has approximately 5,500 LTE patents that it could use to generate royalties and/or create and
develop new 4G applications.
- August 4, 2009: RIM's
Nortel interest adds more drama to 'final' bid -- Why on earth would RIM want Nortel? That was
the question on everyone's minds after the handset manufacturer announced it had not only tried to
enter bidding for the distressed Nortel's LTE and CDMA assets, but had been "prevented" from fairly
competing for those assets due to bidding restrictions. While Ericsson eventually emerged
victorious in bidding, industry watchers were left scratching their heads, and legislators seem to
at least be considering the merits of RIM's complaint. What if the Waterloo-based BlackBerry maker
was successful in a re-auction and it won?
- July 2, 2009: Nortel's
data networking chief discusses the future -- John McHugh, Nortel's vice president for data
solutions, defends his company's data networking business and discusses its future in this Q&A.
Are my Nortel certifications obsolete? Are Nortel certifications obsolete now that the company is bankrupt? Read the responses of two certification experts -- or contribute to the discussion -- in the ITKnowledge Exchange.
- June 25, 2009: Nokia
Siemens bid for Nortel's CDMA, LTE wireless assets could pay off -- With the spoils of the
Nortel bankruptcy, Nokia Siemens could leverage its existing core network equipment relationships
and convince carriers to go with it for next-generation network rollouts. At the very least, it
will pick up Nortel's CDMA service contracts with these providers over the next several years. The
company could see a tidy profit for years to come from both next-generation and last-generation
- June 24, 2009: Nortel
partners have a lot of explaining to do to calm customers -- The bankrupt company has
offered no details about service contracts or product commitments post-acquisition. At this point,
with Nortel unable to make any promises, partners will have to calm nervous customers by
emphasizing their own stability.
- June 23, 2009: Nortel
routers and switches may go to buyer of telephony business -- With all of Nortel Networks
now up for sale, customers of Nortel's enterprise switches and routers are likely to find
themselves swept up in a larger deal for Nortel's telephony and unified communications business.
- June 22, 2009: Nortel
partners might be a hot commodity -- Nortel competitors, such as Avaya, have been
aggressively recruiting Nortel partners in recent months, and you can expect that recruitment to
ratchet up, especially if one of Nortel's competitors acquires a Nortel business unit. Also, Nortel
sends a letter to its enterprise customers, informing them that it will sell its other
businesses to third parties. Nortel said it would try to restructure remaining pieces of the
company only if it is "unable to maximize value through sales." Meanwhile, time may not be on
Nortel's side as it attempts to save
or sell off its WAN optimization business.
- June 19, 2009: Nortel announced that it sold
its wireless carrier infrastructure division at a bargain basement price and admitted that
it will sell off its remaining assets. It is likely that Avaya
or Siemens-Enterasys will bid for Nortel's UC business because they want the customer base.
- Feb. 23, 2009: Radware
makes deal for Nortel's application delivery business -- Israeli application delivery
networking vendor, Radware, announced it would buy Nortel's application delivery switching business
(basically the assets of Alteon WebSystems, a company it purchased nine years prior) for an
undisclosed sum. The following week, the Ottawa Citizen published the numbers, based on a filing in
U.S. bankruptcy court: Radware would pay Nortel less than 3% of what Nortel originally paid for
- Jan. 28, 2009: Aruba
courts Nortel customers with multivendor WLAN management suite -- Aruba joined the growing
ring of vultures circling above Nortel Networks' Toronto headquarters when they announced an
"investment protection" program for customers of Nortel wireless LAN (WLAN) technology, offering
Nortel customers a discount on Aruba's AirWave Wireless Management Suite.
- Jan. 22, 2009: Rivals
of bankrupt Nortel to poach networking customers aggressively -- Analysts predicted that
Nortel customers should expect vendors such as Cisco Systems and HP ProCurve to target them
aggressively with special offers to capitalize on Nortel's bankruptcy.
- Jan. 15, 2009: Nortel's
choice -- Channel partners demand that Nortel shed its carrier division and focus in on
enterprise technology. The problem is that carrier customers say they don't want to leave. What's a
beleaguered company to do?
- Jan. 15, 2009: Nortel
bankrupt: Now what? --Unhappy Nortel loyalists are now looking to the future and what it
holds for their beloved telecom giant. They want to know: Where do we go from here?
- Jan. 14, 2009: Nortel
comes crashing down -- Though no surprise to us, the day we thought might happen finally
did. Like the starship Enterprise at the end of Star Trek III, Nortel finally crashed and burned,
leaving only charred wreckage behind. The question remains: Can the charred wreckage be rebuilt
into a new ship?
- Dec. 23, 2008: Nortel
for sale -- maybe -- Everyone from China's Huawei Technologies to Cisco Systems is rumored
to be eyeing Nortel's MEN unit. Analysts fear that if Nortel doesn't move quickly enough, there
will be no deals left.
- Dec. 18, 2008: Partners
to Nortel: Grow up! -- Nortel channel partners are loyal, but not silly. They demand that
the company make some quick changes to stay viable -- namely, shed the carrier unit.
- Dec. 5, 2008: Is
there anyone not trying to steal Nortel's partners? -- With Nortel looking as if it's in
ruins, other channel vendors aggressively move in on Nortel channel partners, following in
Juniper's footsteps. It's like watching bullies gang up on the nerd with the broken glasses, trying
to steal his milk money.
- Dec. 3, 2008: Juniper
attacks Nortel channel with attempts at channel takeover -- Juniper decides to kick Nortel
when it's down by trying to poach channel partners with a not-so-subtle letter campaign.
- Nov. 11, 2008: Nortel
in too deep; analysts say sale coming -- Analysts see no alternatives. Nortel is in bigger
trouble than some suspected, reporting a $3.41 billion loss in the third quarter and slashing 1,300
jobs. What else is there to do other than put the company up for sale? Apparently, file for
- Sept. 19, 2008: Partners
stay calm as Nortel contemplates selling Metro Ethernet -- CEO Mike Zafirovsky says the
company will sell its Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) unit to offset losses.
- Sept. 4, 2008: Will
IBM acquire Nortel? -- We weren't exactly right about this one either, but every rumor is
based on some fact, and low share values fed this one. We knew something had to give, whether a
Nortel acquisition or a Nortel bankruptcy.
- July 2, 2008: Will
Microsoft acquire Nortel? -- While it had been long rumored that networking rival Cisco
Systems would acquire Nortel's carrier business, this time around pundits wondered whether unified
communications allies like Microsoft or IBM would swoop in for an acquisition. In fact, one channel
partner told SearchITChannel that a Microsoft-Nortel acquisition would be a "no-brainer." We were
wrong about this prediction, as the VAR
Guy was eager to point out. But we knew early that change was imminent.
- 2008: It became apparent that Nortel's bad fortune wouldn't turn around anytime
soon. Share prices sank below $10, and channel partners speculated that someone would buy the
- 2004 - 2007: With a major accounting scandal in 2004 and a handful of restructurings
and massive layoffs since, Nortel hasn't been able to establish a solid footing. The last thing
the company could withstand was yet another recession.
- 2001: In the technology downturn, Nortel's shares -- which traded at a high of $124
Canadian in 2000 -- fell 50%.
- 1998: Nortel was on rocky ground almost since it morphed from Northern Telecom
(the century-old company spun off from Bell Telephone Company of Canada) to Nortel Networks.
Nortel's goal was to become one of the first providers of converged voice and data networking
equipment, so it immediately swept up Bay Networks and Alteon WebSystems for more than $15 billion.
But Nortel didn't move quickly enough to integrate the new technologies into its legacy business.