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Juniper jumps on networking equipment deal

The networking upstart ships new, high-speed networking equipment to help telecommunications carriers and ISPs, sending shares higher.

Juniper Networks has shipped new, high-speed networking equipment to help telecommunications carriers and Internet service providers build faster networks.

High-flying Juniper, which competes against Cisco Systems, Nortel Networks and others, is best known for its high-speed routers that shuttle information along Internet networks.

Juniper stock jumped on today's product announcement, also on word the firm sealed an equipment contract with national ISP Verio worth $7 million. Shares rose more than 14 percent to 332, close to the firm's all-time high of 335.75.

Juniper previously offered networking equipment for the "core" of the Internet, or network backbone through which most Net information travels. The firm's new high-speed router is geared for the "edge" of a network, where service providers connect with other service providers and Net firms.

Juniper executives said the company needed to expand its network equipment offerings to help ISPs eliminate network congestion and offer more Net services to customers.

"As you move high bandwidth at the core, you need to start carrying high-bandwidth at the edge," Juniper's vice president of marketing Joe Furgerson said. "ISPs are offering more services targeted at the highest bandwidth consumers, and that's not a market that's well served."

The new device, called the M20 router, will allow Net providers to offer more services such as Web application hosting and audio and video content distribution over the Web.

Forrester Research analyst Brendan Hannigan said Juniper's new product line will help it better compete against Cisco, which already sells routing devices.

"There's more dollars on the edge," Hannigan said. "If they're going to continue to expand, they have to go beyond being a core router company. It would be hard being just a single product company."

Juniper went public in June and had one of the most successful public offerings of the year.