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Heya Fools!

Regarding long term prospects, I think that Nortel is going to be around for a long time- as long as they keep an eye towards their overall purpose as communication infrastructure suppliers.

If they continue to look at new ways to perform this service, I don't think any one segment of the communications industry will matter. The fact is, Nortel is not solely a Fiber Optics company. Though this is their main product, right now, we have seen them big in switching, and now developing a robust wireless communications suite of products.

This is diverse from the perspective of materials, but I think it is consistent with a vision of providing the pipelines through which people share information (aka communicate). Will there be high demand for Fiber tomorrow? Maybe. Will there be demand for communication? Heck yeah!

I read a story somewhere about Kodak. They produced cameras, then started producing film for the cameras. It so happened that this was the most profitable product, so they refined it to no end. They produced the chemicals that would make their film and process it. Eventually they became known as the Chemical Imaging company. They served their customers as the best Chemical Imaging company in the world.

However, people really could care less about chemical images. They wanted to secure memories. Not understanding this, Kodak was poorly positioned to deal with the invention of the video camera- which has nothing to do with chemical imaging. Now, as the digital camera eats away at their market share for still photography, Kodak is struggling to reposition themselves. Do they undermine the Chemicals business to move to digital? What do they do?

Look at Nortel. Their whole "Come together" campaign and "What do you want the internet to be: Anytime, Anywhere" slogan does not define them as an internet-centric, or fiber-centric company. It defines them as a communications company. They define themselves as making things for you! Not making things for the internet (Cisco: "The worldwide leader for networking for the internet", Lucent: "We make the internet mobile").

Do you see the difference? Nortel's vision sees the Internet as a tool, not a defining vision in itself. Cisco refers to me as the Internet Generation- as if the presence of the Internet defines me as a person. What makes me who I am is the information I have access to. The Internet is my tool, not me.

As long as Nortel knows that they are allowing me to communicate, not allowing me to use the internet, or talk with Fiber Optics, their vision will get them through any demand fluctuations in any ONE product.

Huzzaaaah! And fool on!

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