Nortel Networks' VoIP cable strategy reached new heights Wednesday with announcements that it will play a key part in service rollouts at Rogers Cable and Adelphia Communications.

Under the deal, Adelphia will use Nortel's SIP-capable Communication Server 2000-Compact softswitch. As Adelphia's network integrator, Nortel will also play a key role in the planning, building and maintaining of Adelphia's VoIP network.

The arrangements with Nortel "not only meet our requirements, but [they] also have a proven track record and solid reputation in the industry for helping drive new revenue opportunities," said Adelphia CTO Marwan Fawaz, in a statement.

The agreement and subsequent deployment with Nortel will expand Adelphia's VoIP options significantly. Last year, the MSO inked a co-marketing deal with AT&T Corp. for the telco's SIP-based CallVantage service.

Adelphia has not yet specified where or how quickly it expects to deploy IP telephony, an MSO spokeswoman said.

Rogers, meanwhile, has also selected Nortel as its primary softswitch provider as it moves forward with a launch of VoIP by mid-2005. Rogers' cable networks pass 3.3 million homes in Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

In addition to the CS 2000-Compact, Nortel will also supply the MSO with a range of optical transport equipment and the Nuera Communications ORCA BTX-4K media gateway. Nortel is a Nuera reseller.

Nortel also supplies VoIP equipment to MSOs such as Cox Communications, Charter Communications, VTR of Chile, TeleCable of Spain, Telenet of Belgium, and ish and Kabel BW of Germany.