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Nortel seeks smaller customers

Nortel Networks announces new products aimed at small and medium-sized businesses that want to bolster their communications networks.

    Nortel Networks announced Monday new products aimed at small and medium-sized businesses that want to bolster their communications networks.

    The telecommunications gear maker said the products--the Passport 1600 and BayStack 380-24F--provide the performance of its enterprise equipment in a smaller package. They are designed to relieve the network roadblocks that typically hit smaller companies, Nortel added.

    The Passport 1600 series, which provides multiple-routing protocols, is set for release in April. Nortel's BayStack 380-24F switches will be available in March.

    Nortel's push to provide network routers and switches to smaller companies mimics a growing trend in the sector as telecom equipment makers see little demand from larger enterprises during the prolonged IT spending drought. Companies such as Cisco Systems and Nortel, which make the switches and routers that drive telecom networks, are looking for any way to soften the blow from the collapse of their once-strong sector.

    Separately, Nortel announced additions to its Ethernet Switch portfolio aimed at enterprises and service providers. The company said the new products, the Alteon 2424 Application Switch and the Alteon 2424-SSL, are designed to support application switching.

    Both feature processors, according to Nortel, designed specifically to provide traffic management for nearly any enterprise application. The Alteon 2424-SSL also provides integrated Secure Sockets Layer processing acceleration and SSL Virtual Private Network (VPN) capabilities.