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"Personal Internet is the fifth market leadership for Nortel Networks''

In an attempt to consolidate its market share, Nortel Networks has introduced a new suite of products under the umbrella of Personal Internet, which would help service and content providers increase their revenues and also enhance the Net surfer's experience. In a telephonic interview from Hong Kong where Nortel unveiled its strategy for the Asia Pacific region on 14th March, Steve Wood, vice president, content networking business unit, enumerated the advantages of Personal Internet and its relevance to the Indian market

What is the Personal Internet and how does it work?
Wood: This is a new approach that radically alters how users and content come together. Unlike conventional networking technologies that blindly switch packets at high rates, content-intelligent Personal Internet solutions, such as Layer 7 Web switches and content routers, classify Web sessions using the information embedded in the body of the session and manage traffic to ensure end-to-end session integrity.

By parsing each user request, the Personal Internet can determine the actual user's Internet location and measure the performance and reliability of the content sites, relative to the user in real time.

In addition, the Personal Internet can refine content site and content server selection, ensuring that users are connected to the right content in the most direct and speedy manner.

Who are likely to benefit from Personal Internet? Is it the users or the ISPs?
Wood: The suite is aimed at service providers, hosters, content publishers and very large enterprise customers. Our Personal Internet will give service and content providers, the ability to uniquely identify and retain customers. It would leverage infrastructure to allow service providers to offer content publishers custom content insertion and personalized services aimed at a specific target audience.

Considering that in India ISPs are still concerned with connectivity and access, do you think there is a market for the Personal Internet solution in India?
The product portfolio of the PI gives service providers the opportunity to offer IP and content related services and make money. These products make a lot of sense in today's scenario when "free access" models are ruling the market and the service providers are losing money every day of their operation. These products and technologies sit on top of the access networks of the service providers and help them to increase their product offerings from mere access to IP and content services. So the answer is yes, because it enables the service providers to make money which is their immediate need and long term purpose.

Further, the Personal Internet empowers service and content providers to create and retain a loyal subscriber base through the ability to identify once anonymous users and turn them into known subscribers ensuring that personalized and content services can now be offered.

What does the Personal Internet mean to Nortel and how is it going to help consolidate your position in the networking world?
PI is the fifth market leadership of Nortel Networks, the other four being optical Internet, local Internet, wireless Internet and e-business. If you look at these initiatives, these cover the whole Internet infrastructure from the user to the access to the backbone to the content.

All these leaderships are complimentary and leverage on each other for providing a complete "edge to edge" solution ( subscriber edge to content edge). PI has immediate appeal for the large service providers who have already invested in the basic infrastructure and now want to offer value-adds on top of that and generate new revenue streams ( like Telstra in Australia, for example ). Nortel's strength lies in its focussed approach to the market and a loyal customer base who have invested very heavily in the networks. With PI these valued customers have a tremendous opportunity to maximize the returns on their deployed infrastructure.

Is the Personal Internet a suite of products the service providers should buy at one go or is it modular?
Both. The Personal Internet consists of products at both the subscriber and content edge. These include: Shasta broadband service node, Shasta personal content portals, Alteon personal content directors, Alteon content-intelligent Web switches, Alteon integrated service directors, Alteon personal content cache and content distribution management.

Are these products available in India and how do you propose to penetrate the market?
Wood: Some of the products are available immediately while some others would be in the market in the next couple of months. We will continue to work with value added resellers in India. The carrier market in India has opened up and with all the optical fibre infrastructure being put up, there is a big opportunity ahead.
- Aparna Achar


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