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3Com to shed units to Extreme, Motorola

The networking company will announce plans today to shed parts of its networking business and possibly sell them to Extreme Networks and Motorola.

3Com will announce plans today to shed parts of its networking business to Extreme Networks and Motorola as part of a restructuring plan.

The nature of the deals is not clear, but sources say it could range from a broader licensing agreement to something more.

Sources familiar with the company's plans say the firm will cut loose its high-end corporate switching technology, called the CoreBuilder line, to upstart Extreme Networks. Separately, 3Com plans to offer its Internet service provider (ISP) business to Motorola.

3Com also intends to spin off its struggling analog modem business, according to sources.

3Com will retain its telecommunications carrier-oriented technologies, such as high-speed access and Internet-based voice systems, as well as elements of its corporate business, according to sources.

Terms of the deals were not available.

The moves come as 3Com attempts to regain a solid position in the networking business as larger competitors such as Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and Lucent Technologies close in. Having already spun off its Palm handheld unit, 3Com is hoping its latest gambit will help it to boost long-stagnant sales at the company.

A 3Com spokesman declined to comment on the company's plans. Extreme representatives would not comment. Motorola could not immediately be reached for comment.

3Com will release third-quarter earnings at the close of the market. It also plans to brief analysts in New York today on its long-rumored restructuring plans.

News.com's Wylie Wong contributed to this report.