A "significant portion" of Nortel's soon-to-close WiMax wireless division is based in Ottawa, with layoffs scheduled to begin in two months as part of restructuring, the company said Friday.

About 500 people comprise the WiMax division, based in Ottawa, Paris, and Asia.

Scott Wickware, a Pembroke native who heads Wimax at Nortel, told CTV Ottawa in December that he was optimistic for the future. However, Nortel isn't even offering the unit for sale.

Nortel also confirmed Friday that it's willing to discuss the possibility of the federal government taking over some or all of their main Ottawa campus.

Nortel currently uses half the space, and the government is hunting for new offices for 2011.