May 5, 2003 10:15 AM PDT

Cisco rivals team to sell network gear

Lucent Technologies and Juniper Networks have teamed up to challenge Cisco Systems' dominance in selling network equipment to major North American telephone companies.

In their first-ever deal together, Lucent and Juniper on Monday announced they will sell equipment that major carriers use to upgrade their aging telephone networks. Juniper is supplying the products and Lucent is providing the software to manage the network, said Norm Bogen, an In-Stat/MDR telephone industry analyst.

Cisco currently dominates that market which, despite a limited number of customers, will generate $20 billion in revenue between now and 2005, according to analyst projections cited by Juniper.

"You could say this is Lucent and Juniper trying to disrupt Cisco's dominance," Bogen said.

A Cisco representative was not immediately available for comment.

Lucent and Juniper also intend to develop new products and services together, but executives from both companies speaking on a conference call did not disclose additional details of those plans.

Juniper Chief Executive Scott Kriens would not say if any of the targeted carriers have signed any deals. He said a potential customer is Verizon Communications, which already buys networking equipment from both Lucent and Juniper.

Janet Davidson, president of Lucent's integrated network solutions group, said the deal won't conflict with Lucent's existing relationship with Cisco. Juniper and Lucent are supplying traditional phone companies. Lucent and Cisco are attacking the cell phone network equipment market, she said during the conference call.

 

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