Nortel representatives said its networking devices and software will allow Internet service providers and Net content companies not only to speed the delivery of Web content to consumers, but also to offer new content-based services, such as the ability to download movies from the Web.
The technology integrates two existing families of products from Nortel and allows them to work together: Internet-based equipment that enables service providers to offer more sophisticated Web-based services to customers; and devices that speed Web content to customers.
Analysts say the combination of the two product families allows Nortel, which competes with Cisco Systems, Lucent Technologies and others, to provide one-stop shopping for big telecommunications carriers, such as AT&T, Sprint and WorldCom.
"With this strategy, Nortel has solutions for different types of service providers: Internet service providers, backbone network providers or Web hosting providers," said IDC analyst Melanie Posey. "If you have a carrier like AT&T or WorldCom that plays in all three markets, this gives them products for each of the three markets, and the products can work together."
Nortel on Tuesday will announce five products that can manage Web content and allow service providers and businesses to provide content to any device from computers to cell phones, a Nortel representative said.
The products include a new high-end Alteon "Web switch" that speeds delivery of Web content over the Internet. Web switches act like traffic cops in busy intersections. They ease congestion by distributing information evenly among servers on a network, so no one server gets overworked.
With the Shasta and Alteon products combined, Nortel representatives say service providers and Net content companies can generate new revenue by offering new subscription-based services. ISPs, for example, can strike deals with content providers such as movie companies, and allow customers to subscribe to movies over the Web, company representatives said.
The new products can also help ISPs personalize customers' Web-surfing experience, said Rob McCormick, chief executive of Savvis Communications. They can help recognize Web surfers' preferences, so that if a Chicago Web surfer goes to an online city directory like CitySearch.com, ISPs can recognize that the person is from Chicago and immediately send that person to the Chicago Web site, he said.