CTV Ottawa has learned the new owner of Nortel's wireless division is hiring 680 people in Ottawa and 2,500 people globally.

Nortel workers have until the end of the day to indicate if they want to work for Ericsson, which bought Nortel's wireless division for US$1.13 billion in July.

Many observers believe the unit's Ottawa labs are key to the next generation of wireless communication gear called long-term evolution, or LTE. So far, 98 per cent of staff has signed on with the company.

Ericsson is still waiting to find out if the federal government will review the deal. Although CTV contacted Industry Canada, the agency refused to answer any questions.

Nortel's second largest unit, Enterprise, is set to be auctioned off on Friday. Hundreds of jobs could be cut as a result of the deal.