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Nortel to spend $400 million on high-speed technology

The telecommunications equipment provider will invest $400 million in its optical networking and components business by expanding facilities in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Telecommunications equipment provider Nortel Networks today said it will invest $400 million in its optical networking and components business by expanding facilities in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Canada-based Nortel said the investment includes establishing a new facility in Ottawa for the fabrication of precision lasers and optical components, which are part of a technology called dense wavelength division multiplexing, or DWDM. Nortel hopes to extend the capabilities of DWDM to handle more data at higher speeds.

The company also said it plans to build new facilities in Montreal and to expand existing facilities in the United Kingdom. In addition, it will increase its supply chain and customer service capabilities in the United States, including in Atlanta, Georgia, and Raleigh, North Carolina.

In a conference call to reporters and analysts this morning, Nortel chief executive John Roth said the $400 million investment will generate about 5,000 news jobs, and the new facility in Montreal will help Nortel meet customer demand by tripling manufacturing capacity.

About 5,000 full-time positions in systems integration and testing, engineering, supply chain management, and customer service will be created by Nortel's investment, executives said during the conference call. Of those, 850 will be in Ottawa, 1,450 in Montreal, 1,800 divided among the United Kingdom, and the remaining 900 in other locations, including the United States.