So what happened to Nortel? The Canadian manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, the second largest on the planet, witnessed its stock price plummet to a 52-week low on June 8, 2001 ($10.73 per share), down 88 percent from its 52-week high of $89 set in July 2000.
Nortel apparently did not impress the analysts or the media, even though the leader in optical fiber transport equipment made several new product and customer announcements.
“I think at Supercomm  there was nothing really Earth-shattering coming from [Nortel],” said Chris Sessing, an analyst at Crowell Weedon. “No significant new products – there were certainly upgrades to existing products – but nothing that really knocked people’s socks off. Coming away from that, people just didn’t get the traditional warm and fuzzy feeling that they usually do.”
Cisco continued to dominate the Metro Optical Transport market in the first half of 2001 as evidenced with a number of industry milestones leading up to the usual flurry of Supercomm announcements:
• January 2001: Introduced the ONS 15327 Metro Edge Optical Transport system with almost 80 customers, including Timer Warner Telecom (tw telecom) and a large number of CLECs and Enterprise customers
• January 2001: ONS 15454 reached #1 OC-48 share in North America, with more than 600 customers
• January 2001: ONS 15454 reached #1 metro Gigabit Ethernet market share with over 3,000 ports deployed (with its first generation switched Ethernet capability)
• March 2001: ONS 15200 Metro DWDM solutions featuring the Qeyton product, gained traction with almost 100 customers
Following the successful launch of the OC-192 capability for the ‘454,’ accompanied by the line rate Gigabit Ethernet module (G-series), and high density OC-12 module, Cisco continued building momentum in July 2001 with the announcement of a 32-channel DWDM capability for the ‘454’ and achievement of OSMINE certification, allowing the product to be deployed by Regional Bell Operating Companies. John Colvin’s 1999 dream of securing this “license to hunt” regulated Tier 1 service providers had come true.
Evan Bass added, “UBS Warburg cut its profit and stock estimates for Nortel June 11, citing weak demand from long-haul network customers, some aging products and growing competition in the market for metro fiber optic equipment.”
Indeed, much of that competition came from Cisco and its service provider-savvy optical portfolio. The Cerent 454, now directed by Cisco, was indeed a giant slayer, eventually driving Nortel into bankruptcy.