Nortel postpones Metro Ethernet sale

Originally, this post was going to be an update on possible delays in the sale of Nortel Networks's Metro Ethernet unit, but late Wednesday in comments to Light Reading and others, Nortel confirmed that it has put the sale of unit on hold. Speculation on a change of plans began yesterday when Network World quoted a Nortel official as saying the company was "reassessing" its plans for the unit.

Could Metro Ethernet business opportunities, such as support for mobile backhaul, have changed Nortel's mind? That is not clear, but Nortel has remained gung-ho about its ongoing market opportunities even after it entered bankruptcy protection last month. The note to Light Reading suggests that Nortel is waiting for its post-bankruptcy business plan to become clear.

Another possibility is that Nortel simply did not like the offers it was getting for the unit, though reportedly, there were at least three other vendors interested in buying the Ethernet group.

Yet another possibility--still speculation--is that Nortel was unable to sell the unit to the company, Huawei Technologies, that may have wanted it most, because Nortel customers feared Huawei's murky affiliations with the Chinese government.

For more:
- Light Reading has this post
- Network World has this report

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