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In this paper, the propagation of optical pulses in photonic crystal waveguides (PCWs) near the edge of the guided band is numerically investigated. In the linear regime, it is shown that group velocity dispersion can significantly limit the maximum bit rate of the optical signal. On the other hand, better performance is obtained using soliton waves. Both bright and dark solitons can significantly increase the maximum bit rate that can be achieved in the nanosecond delay regime. The influence of higher order dispersion and optical loss is numerically investigated. The results indicate that near the band edge soliton propagation in PCWs can be stable, provided that the optical losses are kept low. This could open a path towards implementing compact nonlinear elements and delay lines in integrated form.