Nortel lands China contract; Moody's lowers ratings

Wed, 07/04/2001 - 8:00pm
Anne Kerven

Good news and bad news for Nortel Networks. The company just landed a contract with Jitong Networks Communications to build a national multiservice backbone network. But Moody's Investors Service downgraded the company's long-term securities ratings.

The contract, for an undisclosed amount, expands Jitong's existing backbone to 100 cities, with a core hubs capacity of 40 Gbps. Presently, Jitong's backbone includes hubs in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan and Shenzhen, and provides switching capacity up to 4 Gbps. It connects overseas via international gatways in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, reaching more than 40 countries, it says.

Nortel will supply its Passport 15000-VSS multiservice carrier switch and Passport 7480 mulitservice switches, it reports. Digital China Holdings Ltd. will supply system integration services.

Jitong is in charge of building, running and managing the national public economic information network, called the China Golden Bridge Information Network. Jitong had more than 10,000 km of optical backbone networks at the end of 2000, it says.

A Nortel spokesman could not be reached by CEDaily's deadline.

The announcement comes after Moody's Investors Service lowered the ratings on Nortel's long-term securities (senior unsecured to A3 from A2 and preferred stock to baa1 from A3). It also lowered commercial paper ratings from Prime-1 to Prime-2. Moody's says the long-term ratings remain on review for a potential further downgrade.


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