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Nortel Networks CEO sets out his vision of ‘Network Transformation’

Frank Dunn, president and chief executive officer of Nortel Networks, told telecom industry leaders today that glob...

October 16, 2003  

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Frank Dunn, president and chief executive officer of Nortel Networks, told telecom industry leaders today that global communications has reached an important inflection point that will lead to a new era of information richness, mobility, control for users and business without boundaries.

Speaking to an industry forum at ITU Telecom World 2003 in Geneva, Dunn said the impact of changes underway in the design of communications network infrastructure will, in his view, be as profound as the impact of the digital, wireless and optical revolutions seen over the past 25 years.

The driving force behind these changes, he said, is the need to transform the multiple, costly and complex networks in use today into a smarter, multipurpose, global broadband network.

Network transformation, he maintained, will generate new sources of revenue for service providers, provide greater opportunities and efficiencies for enterprises, and meet the needs of consumers who value multimedia, the freedom of mobility and personalized and secure private network services.

“The smarter, more adaptable network has to be ‘always on,’ accessible anytime from any place and be inherently voice plus multimedia in any combination, with convenience and cost economies,” Dunn said. “And for that to happen, the boundaries between public and private, wireline and wireless, and voice and data networks have to be eliminated.”

According to Nortel Networks, the key elements of a more intelligent, high-speed, multipurpose global network include broadband and optical technologies, voice over packet, wireless data, multimedia services and applications, and security, all underpinned by a packet network core.

These technologies will enrich global communications in ways that will have a significant impact on how people will be able to connect with information and with each other across boundaries, time zones and cultures.

“These new technologies coming on-stream,” Dunn said, “are changing business models and processes, fueling productivity growth across all segments of national economies and, not least, opening up new opportunities for revenue growth for all companies in our business.”

He called upon the industry to “focus our energies and investments on developing the next generation of smarter and more adaptable network infrastructure that will deliver high-speed multimedia communications. Network transformation will ultimately change the network into a robust services platform.”

Dunn emphasized that the industry has to continue focusing on technology and innovation as the cornerstone for creating new revenue opportunities, and that a vibrant telecom sector is vital to the success of all national economies and the networked global economy.

He also said that enriching global communications and creating new sources of revenue will also require a regulatory environment that encourages investment in research and development, innovation and network transformation.

“When technology meets with progressive public policy and regulation, the opportunity to continue enriching communications will accelerate and attract greater investment,” Dunn said.

“Without vigorous and sustained investment in R&D and innovation,” he added, “growth opportunities will be limited. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of innovation coming along to further enrich the capabilities of global communications to the benefit of people everywhere.”

Dunn concluded that enriching global communications is aligned with the ITU mandate to ensure that emerging and developing nations benefit from advanced infrastructure. Never before, he said, have new communications technologies like wireless had the potential to contribute to developments in health, education, agriculture, transport and “every other critical sphere of human activity in emerging and developing countries.”

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