Industry Update

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The Resilient Packet Ring Alliance (San Jose, CA), an industry group promoting resilient-packet-ring (RPR) technology and its standardization by the IEEE, announced the addition of four new members. Arris, providing broadband local access networks with optical transport; Infineon Technologies, a provider of communications ICs and fiber-optic components; Intel Corp.; and Ixia, a provider of multiport traffic generation and performance analysis systems, have joined other optical system and chip companies in the RPR Alliance. RPRs are high-speed, survivable ring networks designed for IP and other packet data. The RPR Alliance is working on a draft standard-the first draft was completed in January-in the IEEE 802.17 working group. The working group is assigned with defining a media access control protocol that will be used in LANs, MANs, and WANs.

north america

The Optical Internetworking Forum's Carrier Working Group agreed on a network-to-network interface (NNI) that specifies requirements for the establishment and control of automatic connection between SONET/SDH and optical transport layers. Optical internetworks are data networks composed of routers and data switches interconnected by optical-networking elements. The NNI would allow carriers to more easily build and operate intelligent optical networks consisting of multiple vendors. Other technical documents have moved forward in the Implementation Agreement process, including the SFI-5 (OC-768 SerDes-Framer Interface), which has now been approved to move to the final ballot stage. The OIF is a nonprofit organization with more than 300 international member companies.

Tyco Telecommunications Labs (Eatontown, NJ), the research arm of Tyco Telecommunications, announced that it had set two undersea optical transmission records. In a lab demonstration, Tyco scientists sent 2.56 Tbits/sec of data over 11,000 km by sending 10 Gbits/sec of data over each of 256 separate channels on a single fiber. This new implementation provides the widest continuous bandwidth ever equalized for oceanic distances, according to the company. The implementation uses an optical design of erbium gain and Raman gain technologies. Separately, scientists sent 1.52 Tbits/sec of data over a distance of 6,200 km by sending 40 Gbits/sec of data over each of 38 channels in a single fiber. The lab experiments have also demonstrated the capability of transmitting up to 75 channels over a regional undersea distance of 4,500 km.

IP routing vendor Juniper Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) signed an agreement to acquire Siemens's IP-based network equipment subsidiary, Unisphere Networks (Westford, MA) in a transaction valued at $740 million. The deal, still subject to regulatory and other approvals, is expected to be finalized in the third quarter. Juniper is also entering into a reseller partnership with Siemens Information and Communication Networks (Munich) to distribute IP-based systems worldwide. The partnership gives Juniper access to Siemens's sales channels in 190 countries.

Metro-network provider OnFiber Communications (Austin, TX) acquired the network assets and customer contracts of Sphera Optical Networks for about $2.3 million as part of Sphera's reorganization under Chapter 11. The acquisition will give OnFiber access to four new metropolitan markets-Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City-an expanded customer base, and more than $400,000 in additional monthly revenue.

Metro optical transport equipment provider PacketLight Networks (San Diego) received Network Equipment Building Systems (NEBS) Level 3 certification for its PL-16000 multiservice transport system. The NEBS testing was conducted by MET Laboratories (Baltimore). The PL-16000 integrates DWDM with Layers 1 and 2 transport aggregation and crossconnect functionality. It combines voice, data, video, and storage connections to support a variety of services. Several field trials of the system are nearing completion, according to the company.

Tunable-component supplier iolon inc., (San Jose, CA) closed an additional $7.6 million of Series C funding from new investors NTT Leasing Co. Ltd. and Swiss Life, as well as from existing investors Seagate Technology Investment Holdings LLC, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Optical Capital Group, Boston Millennia Partners, Bowman Capital, Doll Capital Management, Integral Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., CrossBridge Venture Partners, J&W Seligman Inc., Bank of America Securities LLC, and Kalkhoven, Petit, and Levin Ventures (KPL). In addition, iolon has secured a credit line of $9 million from Western Technology Investment Inc. and Costella Kirsch Inc., bringing the company's total funding to date to more than $85 million.

Optical Internet service provider Cogent Communications Group Inc., (Washington, DC) acquired real estate access agreements from building local-exchange carrier OnSite Access Inc., which filed Chapter 11 in the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in May 2001. The majority of the access agreements selected by Cogent pertain to buildings located in New York City. Also included are select buildings located in Dallas, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Chicago. The deal will add 16 million sq ft to Cogent's portfolio of more than 3,400 building access agreements totaling close to 1 billion sq ft of space.

Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) announced a three-year agreement with Verizon Communications (New York City) to expand the capacity of Verizon's regional interoffice core network throughout the United States with its 32-channel DWDM Metropolis Enhanced Optical Networking System, which supports rates of 16 Mbits/sec to 10 Gbits/sec. Verizon's network deployment began in Philadelphia this spring with future rollouts planned in the carrier's large data markets throughout the United States. Verizon has named Lucent its exclusive provider for future deployments of ring DWDM technology.

Xebeo Communications Inc. (South Plainfield, NJ), a developer of carrier-class switching platforms for the optical Ethernet market, completed the first closing of a new $20-million round of financing led by three venture capital firms Crescendo Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Windward Ventures. Each investor had participated in Xebeo's initial financing round.

Competitive local-exchange carrier Progress Telecom (St. Petersburg, FL) completed construction of a dedicated OC-192 metro ring in for Emergia U.S.A. Inc. (Miami), a Telefonica S.A. company that offers broadband communications throughout Latin America via an undersea fiber-optic network. The private ring connects Emergia's undersea cable landing to various key sites in Miami. The two companies signed an agreement in December 2000, whereby Progress Telecom customers needing connectivity to Latin America could use Emergia's services, while Emergia customers could also be connected to destinations in the United States.

Metro optical-network provider Telseon (Denver) announced interconnection agreements with long-haul (LH) network operator Williams Communications (Tulsa, OK) in 20 U.S. metropolitan markets. Under the agreements, Telseon is increasing its intra-metro wavelength connectivity by up to 100 new locations on the Williams infrastructure. In turn, Williams can extend its LH reach into 125 of Telseon's on-net data centers, carrier hotels, and collocation facilities in 20 metro markets. Both networks are standardized on the ONI DWDM platform.

Passive-optical-networking vendor Optical Solutions (Minneapolis) raised over $22 million in a new round of equity financing, bringing the company's total funding to $126 million. The Sprout Group, Coral Ventures, and H.I.G. Ventures joined existing investors Boston Millennia Partners, Menlo Ventures, and St. Paul Venture Capital in the latest round of funding. Optical Solutions markets the FiberPath 400 fiber-to-the-home system.

Optical-switch vendor TeraBurst Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) successfully completed interoperability testing with DWDM transport systems from Hitachi Telecom (U.S.A.) Inc. (Norcross, GA). Teraburst's OMS 2100/2200 line of optical switches and Hitachi Telecom's optical AMN 6100/7100 transport systems can now offer carriers an end-to-end optical-networking solution.

south america

Siemens Information and Communications Networks (Munich), a division of Siemens AG, announced a contract with carrier Telemar (Rio de Janeiro) covering the maintenance of the operator's switching offices, transmission system, and associated network infrastructure in six states in Brazil: Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Paraíba, Pernambuco, and Rio Grande do Norte. The volume of the contract is for about U.S. $13 million per year.

europe

Air-blown fiber company Emtelle International (London) is the supplier for a fiber-to-the-home project being developed by Mexican carrier Internet por Fibra S.A. de C.V. (Interfibra) for the municipality of San Pedro Garza Garcia, a suburb (30,000 households) of Monterrey city in the state of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Interfibra selected Emtelle's 3-mm air-blown fiber technology, Fibreflow, for the deployment of the first network (1,200 homes). The carrier will offer subscribers a direct singlemode fiber connection at 100 Mbits/sec. Participating homes can receive broadband Internet, cable TV, video on demand, and local telephone services using the Ethernet/IP fiber transport infrastructure. As part of the agreement, Interfibra will provide low-cost Internet connectivity to schools and universities. Interfibra will also provide the city authority with free transport for surveillance cameras, automatic radar cameras, and other voice and data services to create the "Smart City," enabling San Pedro to serve as a model for the e-Mexico initiative of Mexican President Fox.

Carrier France Telecom (Paris) upgraded its network link that connects the French mainland to the island of Corsica, using XF repeaterless festoon product from optical-network equipment vendor Corvis Corp. (Columbia, MD). Raman amplification and soliton transmission technologies used in the WDM system allow France Telecom to transmit from the mainland to the island without the use of inline amplifiers. The upgraded 4 x 2.5-Gbit/sec link will provide France Telecom with four times more capacity. The link deployment is part of a multiyear agreement Corvis signed with France Telecom in June 2001.

Lightconnect (Newark, CA), a supplier of diffractive micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based dynamic components and modules for optical networks, announced several distribution agreements that extend the company's reach across Europe and into China. Lightconnect is now represented by Laser 2000 throughout the major European markets, including the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden; by Staroptics Italia (Milan, Italy); and by East Techno-Service Co. in Wuhan, Hubei, China. The distributors will serve as a local source and provide technical support for the company's products, which include variable optical attenuators, dynamic gain equalizers, and dynamic channel equalizers.

Optical-fiber manufacturer Furukawa (Japan) is creating a new division, Fitel Interconnectivity, by combining Furukawa Electric Europe Ltd.'s Fusion Splicer and MT Connector groups. The new division will market splicers, multifiber connectors, ferrules, patch-cord assemblies, and other accessories.

Specialty optical-fiber company Nufern (Granby, CT, and Sydney, Australia) signed a distribution agreement with Elliot Scientific Ltd. (Harpenden, Hertfordshire, UK). The European distributor and manufacturer of fiber products, lasers, optics, and components will supply Nufern's products and services in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

asia

Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (SingTel), the Communications Authority of Thailand, and PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Bali to jointly explore the construction of a high-capacity fiber-optic submarine cable system linking Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand with a possible landing in Malaysia. The 1,200-km proposed cable network will land in Batam (Indonesia), Singapore, and Songkhla (Thailand), with each landing partner having an equal share in the network. Under the terms of the MOU, the network will offer SDH transmission facilities based on 10-Gbit/sec-per-wavelength technology, with an initial capacity of 40 Gbits/sec. The project is estimated to be completed in mid-2003.

Optical Ethernet equipment supplier Atrica Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) struck an agreement with Japanese network integrator Soliton Systems K.K. (Tokyo) to further expand the company's sales, support, and service efforts in Japan. Under the agreement, Soliton will distribute Atrica's optical Ethernet system in Japan, providing sales, support, maintenance, and consultation for service providers in the Japanese market. The agreement follows Atrica's opening of two offices in the Asia-Pacific region-one in Tokyo and one in Seoul.

Asia Global Crossing (Hong Kong) and StarHub (Singapore) agreed to modify a former joint venture, StarHub Crossing, based on each carrier's evolving capacity needs. As such, StarHub Crossing will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Asia Global Crossing. Under the agreement, Asia Global Crossing will continue to use StarHub's terrestrial network for its Singapore back-haul. Similarly, StarHub will continue to access the Asia Global Crossing network for its international capacity needs.

Test equipment supplier Advantest Corp. (Tokyo) terminated its nine-year North American distribution arrangement with Tektronix Inc. June 30. Advantest will commence direct sales of its electronic measuring instrument products in North America through a newly formed U.S. subsidiary, Advantest America Electric Measuring Solutions Inc. (Santa Clara, CA). The company's semiconductor test equipment is marketed in North America through another subsidiary, Advantest America (Santa Clara, CA).

Ericsson (Stockholm) and Juniper Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) announced the second phase of their IP backbone deployment with FuJian Telecom, a subsidiary of the China Telecom group in FuJian province. Under the new contract, the second IP backbone contract for Ericsson with FuJian CT, Ericsson will provide its Packet Backbone Network solution, including its AXI 580 IP backbone routers (based on Juniper Networks' M160 Internet routers) and switches from Extreme Networks (Santa Clara, CA). With the expanded IP backbone, FuJian Telecom will offer MPLS-based virtual-private-network services to its customers.

africa · middle east · australia

Network equipment vendor Firebit (Rosh Ha'ayin, Israel), a subsidiary of Telrad Networks Ltd., selected fiber-optic transceivers from Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA) for its next-generation of packet processing systems. The transceivers-1.25-Gbit/sec small-form-factor pin through-hole devices with LC connector formats-were chosen because they meet Firebit's FB400 and FB1600 platform requirements for electrostatic discharge resistance, according to a Firebit spokesman. The Firebit platforms allow service providers to centrally accelerate network-based services while performing content and packet analysis.

National Telecommunication Corp. (Cairo) is partnering for a two-year term with robotic fiber-optic installation company Cablerunner North America LLC (Boca Raton, FL) to install fiber-optic networks in sewers in Egypt. The first network to be installed using Cablerunner technology is planned in Cairo. Under the agreement, Cablerunner will provide planning, training, use of its technology, and technical support. This contract is the first for Cablerunner within the Middle East. The company is owned and operated by the Vienna (Austria) water and sewer department.

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