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ECI Telecom (ECIL) today revealed a $20 million contract with Germany's leading cellular carrier, Mannesmann Mobilfunk for the optical networking division's XDM hybrid optical platform.

Duesseldorf-based Mannesmann is part of the

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group, one of the world's biggest cellular and radio network operators.

The XDM will form the basic building block of the network that will support Mannesmann Mobilfunk's 16.5-million subscriber base, as well as ease the offering of a range of advanced 3G cellular services.

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, for one, expects that the division should generate $395 million in 2001, including on XDM sales.

XDM manages data traffic over the optic fibers serving metro environments and is soon to begin testing by five major companies in Europe. It also is expected to meet U.S. standards by next year.

Sales of the optical networks division grew by 33% in the third quarter. The figure is not impressive when compared with rivals, including

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,

Nortel

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and

Sycamore Networks

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. Still, officials said ECI's optical division intends to post growth of 30% to 40% a year.

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