OpenVoB, a consortium of companies focused on accelerating the deployment of voice-over-broadband services, successfully completed multivendor interoperability tests, known as CallFests, at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory (Durham, NH) in October and November. These recent tests focused on interoperability between multiple voice gateway and integrated access devices based on the ATM Forum's loop emulation services voice-over-AAL2 specification. The end product of this OpenVoB test series is a set of validated implementation models and corresponding test plans for submission to appropriate standards bodies.
Verizon (New York City) announced a fiber-to-the-home project in Brambleton, VA. The first phase of development will include linking homes via fiber for access to high-capacity, voice, video, and data services. Services will be delivered through a passive optical network between homes and bus inesses. Marconi (Pittsburgh) is providing equipment for converting optical voice, data, and video signals to standard electronic signals. The Brambleton project will serve as a testbed in determining future Verizon fiber-to-the-home initiatives.
Tellabs (Lisle, IL) received industry certification from CableLabs (Louisville, CO), the cable industry's research and development consortium, for its high-speed cable device, which provides voice and data services over IP. The certification, Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification 1.1 (DOCSIS 1.1), acknowledges the ability of the Tellabs CVM410 embedded multimedia terminal adapter to interoperate with other DOCSIS 1.1-certified cable TV equipment. The product delivers voice-over-IP primary line telephony, cable television, and high-speed data to a home or small business over a hybrid fiber/coax network.
Merit Network (Ann Arbor, MI), a Michigan Internet provider serving more than 500,000 users, selected Alidian Network's (San Jose, CA) OSN 4200 systems to upgrade its backbone transport network. Merit will deploy the first phase of its backbone expansion program using OSN 4200 add/drop-multiplexer platforms between its network nodes in Ann Arbor and Southfield, MI. The equipment will be configured as single-wavelength systems, each providing 2.5 Gbits/sec of capacity, upgradable to support 10 Gbits/sec on two protected or four unprotected wavelengths.
Cierra Photonics Inc. (Santa Rosa, CA) began shipping its latest filter product to multiple customers. The terra-CQ 50G-5 is a five-cavity optical filter chip capable of 50-GHz DWDM channel spacing. The orders will place the product in both long-haul and metropolitan applications to enable tightly spaced wavelength multiplexing and demultiplexing and optical add/drop functions. Additional customer trials are in progress.
Broadwing (Cincinnati) announced an agreement to provide advanced IP virtual-private-network services to Fortune Brands (Lincolnshire, IL), a consumer-products company. The suite of secure services and products include private Internet connectivity, e-mail access, nationwide reach, and remote access for traveling employees and subsidiaries. Proprietary information can be transmitted between locations over Broadwing's fully meshed, hierarchical IP backbone.
Quake Technologies Inc. (Kanata, Ontario), a fables semiconductor company, announced availability of samples of its QT2020 single-chip 10-Gigabit Ethernet transceiver IC. The product is a fully integrated, monolithic transceiver designed for use in 10-Gbit/sec IEEE 802.3ae LAN and MAN applications. The chip combines the main physical layer functions of a receiver and transmitter as well as clock generation, multiple loopback features, and the generation and checking of pseudo-random binary-sequence test patterns on both the attachment unit interface standard and 10-Gbit/sec sides.
Corona Optical Systems Inc. (Lombard, IL) announced shipments of its parallel optical modules to an unspecified revenue customer. The modules, used in backplane and shelf-to-shelf links, facilitate optical communications within and between core switches, carrier class routers and crossconnect equipment in central-office environments. The company is also accepting orders for its OptoCube40 parallel optical transmitter and receiver modules.
Pirelli (Milan, Italy) announced a research alliance between its Pirelli Labs and the Microphotonics Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The five-year framework agreement for advanced basic research in the field of photonics will enable joint work environments at MIT laboratories and the new cleanrooms of Pirelli Labs. In the first year, Pirelli will make an investment of $2 million in the project devoted to research and production of optical components based on nano-technologies.
Level 3 Communications Inc. (Broomfield, CO) announced multiple agreements to provide Cox Communications Inc. (Atlanta) with broadband infrastructure services to support the company's 779,000 residential and business high-speed Internet customers. Cox will use Level 3's OC-48 (3)Link Private Line and its metropolitan dark fiber services to connect its regional data centers and metropolitan fiber-optic networks to the Level 3 network.
White Rocks Networks (Richardson, TX) selected Butler Telecom Inc. (Montvale, NJ), the telecommunications services division of Butler International Inc., as a preferred service provider. White Rock manufactures high-speed metropolitan optical transport products, including add/drop multiplexers for SONET networks.
Tektronix Inc. (Beaverton, OR) was granted a U.S. patent on its digital phase analysis (DPA) technology, a jitter analysis approach to test optical communications networks. Capitalizing on silicon germanium technology, DPA time-stamps every edge of a SONET/SDH data stream and removes the error sources and variables associated with phase locked loop circuitry found in current analog alternatives.
LaserComm (Plano, TX), a manufacturer of photonic components and modules with an emphasis on managing chromatic dispersion in optical networks, secured $21 million in fourth-round financing from internal investors. Morgan Stanley Venture Partners (New York City) and Index Ventures (Geneva) led the funding. The new capital will enable LaserComm to support a growing customer base, scale manufacturing, expand its dispersion management product line, and introduce new products based on the company's core technology.
Tellabs (Naperville, IL) completed its acquisition of Ocular Networks (Reston, VA), adding three new products to its portfolio of digital crossconnects and transport switching systems. Tellabs paid $355 million in cash and options for privately held Ocular, which will now become the Tellabs Metro Networking Group.
Choice One Communications (Rochester, NY) activated its intracity fiber ring in Albany, NY. The network was acquired from Fibertech Networks (Rochester, NY), which is designing and building fiber networks within mid-sized U.S. cities. The Albany ring is the fourth to be activated through Choice One's partnership with Fibertech, with previous activations in Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo, NY.
Telia International Carrier Inc. (Reston, VA), announced completion of the North American segment of its wholly owned international fiber network. Using optical-networking equipment from Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ), the U.S. Viking Network links 27 major cities in the U.S. Telia completed installation of the TAT-14 Atlantic transatlantic cable, connecting the European and North American segments of Telia's global network.
Hyperchip Inc. (Montreal) secured $70 million in its fourth round of financing, bringing the total amount raised to about $220 million. The lead investor was TechnoCap (Montreal), and the round included a $50-million loan from Investissement-Quebec. The new funding will enable Hyperchip to continue trials with its carrier-class pet a bit-router product that scales from tens to millions of gigabits-per-sec capacity.
Optical startup Big Bear Networks (Milpitas, CA), an optical-networking provider designing photonic signal processing products for 10- and 40-Gbit/sec carrier equipment, raised $40 million in second-round private funding. Lead investors are Austin Ventures (Austin, TX) and Menlo Ventures (Menlo Park, CA). Big Bear's electro-optical module and subassembly products remove the physical layer constraints associated with tapping into and maximizing the bandwidth transmission capabilities of fiber-optic media.
Alcatel (Paris) has agreed to acquire Astral Point Communications (Chelmsford, MA), a manufacturer of SONET metro optical systems. The value of the transaction is approximately 153 million euros. The transaction, expected to close this quarter, is expected to strengthen Alcatel's addressable SONET metro markets and develop new capabilities across its existing optical offering.
Gambit Communications (Nashua, NH), a network-management simulation-tools provider, entered into a partnership with NOC Builder (Plano, TX), a provider of network consulting and software solutions for network operations centers (NOCs). NOC Builder will integrate Gambit's MIMIC simulator into its network services and software offerings to improve performance, effici ency, and services of NOCs. MIMIC has the ability to simulate up to 10,000 devices from one workstation.
Optiwave Corp. (Ottawa, Ontario), a developer of optical simulation software for fiber-optic telecommunications, secured $7 million in financing from VenGrowth Capital Partners and the Business Development Bank of Canada. Optiwave plans to build on its long-term growth and strategic goals with the external funding, the first received by the company in seven years of operation.
Brasil Telecom SA, the third largest telecommunications company in Brazil, began providing storage networking to the Brazilian Central Bank by connecting the bank's two data centers with optical fiber. ADVA Optical Networking (Munich) provided the DWDM technology for the project.
New World Network Ltd. (Hamilton, Bermuda), owner of the Americas Region Caribbean Optical-ring System (ARCOS), selected NetCracker Technologies (Waltham, MA) to provide an operational support system for its telecommunications infrastructure. New World will implement the full suite of Netcracker products, including network inventory, provisioning, and order management tools. The 8,600-km ARCOS undersea fiber-optic network, which began commercial services in January, connects the United States, Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. New World also signed an agreement with FPL FiberNet (Miami) to obtain international connectivity for the ARCOS network. Under the agreement, FiberNet will supply New World with access to its extensive MAN in Florida, and New World will supply FiberNet with international fiber-optic connectivity to growing markets in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Proximion Fiber Optics AB (Kista, Sweden) began shipping samples of WISTOM, an optical layer monitor that combines both optical-channel monitoring and optical-channel performance functionality. Proximion, founded in 1998, is a spinoff from ACREO, formerly the Institute of Optical Research. The company supplies products for safeguarding and enhancing the performance of optical networks.
Alcatel (Paris) announced a supply agreement with NetRail, a telecommunications service provider wholly owned by REFER, Portugal's rail infrastructure manager. Alcatel will provide more than 40,000 km of cabled optical fiber to upgrade NetRail's existing STM-16 backbone network running along 2,500 km of Portuguese territory.
ADVA Optical Networking (Munich) announced that GiGX Communications (Houston), a privately owned metropolitan access provider, will deploy ADVA's fiber service platform portfolio to provide optical transport services for carriers, Internet providers, and financial and educational institutions. GiGX has already begun deploying ADVA's FSP 3000 for transporting broadband services up to 300 km.
Bookham Technology plc (Oxfordshire, UK) will acquire the assets of Marconi Optical Components Ltd. (Caswell, Northamptonshire, UK) in an all-stock transaction. Under the agreement, Marconi will buy components and subsystems from Bookham over the next 18 months. Bookham manufactures silicon integrated optical components based on the company's ASOC technology.
KPNQwest NV (Brussels) was approved by the European Commission to purchase rival Global TeleSystems Inc.'s operations, which include Ebone and GTS Central Europe. Ebone is a broadband IP and optical networking company serving Europe's carriers, service providers, and media companies. It boasts fiber and IP networks extending more than 25,000 km to 69 European cities, with additional operations in the U.S. KPNQwest was also chosen by the Austrian technology group, Andritz, to provide a 20-site, eight-country IP virtual-private-network service. The service will interconnect sites in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, and the United States across KPNQwest's 160,000-km global fiber-optic network.
Terahertz Photonics Ltd. (Livingston, Scotland) secured second-round funding of six million euros to develop its planar-lightwave-circuit (PLC) platform technology. Investors included Add Partners and Scottish Equity Partners. The funding will enable Terahertz to scale its unique processes for the production of PLCs that will significantly simplify existing manufacturing techniques.
ULM Photonics (San Jose, CA), a pioneer in flip-chip-ready vertical-cavity surface-emitting-laser (VCSEL) arrays and 10-Gbit/sec VCSELs, opened a new manufac-turing facility in Germany. The company, established by a research group from ULM University, uses a technique that grows VCSELs on gallium arsenide semiconductor wafers as single crystals and can work on other materials like indium phosphide.
MergeOptics GmbH (Berlin), a developer of highly integrated components and subsystems for high-speed data transfer, received 5 million euros in funding. Lead investors are Earlybird (Hamburg) and Target Partners (Munich). The MergeOptics systems are based on the Ethernet standard and enable transmission rates of more than 10 Gbits/sec. The new funding will be used for further product development and international growth.
Controlware GmbH (Dietzenbach, Germany), a provider of LastMile AG (Dietzenbach) optical-networking solutions, announced that Compaq Computer Corp. (Houston) completed interoperability testing of the LastMile WavePilot DWDM product with Compaq's SANworks data replication manager. The tests included protocol application and distance testing up to 100 km.
Carrier's carrier 186k (Boca Raton, FL), a subsidiary of the Lattice Group plc (London), completed and lit a 2,000-km, 96-fiber nationwide network that connects 20 towns and cities across the United Kingdom, from Glasgow to Bristol. Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) provided optical transmission and DWDM equipment for the network. The backbone network links MANs under construction through partnerships in the major business centers of London, Birmingham, and Manchester.
Sweden's ACTE Components, a group of companies owned by the Lagercrantz Group AB (Stockholm), signed a sales and distribution agreement with West Bay Semiconductor Inc. (Vancouver) to distribute West Bay's products in Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark. As part of the agreement, ACTE will also cover Poland, the Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States, and Russia. The agreement will strengthen West Bay's ability to market its products in key European markets.
Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) supplied Deutsche Telekom (Nuremberg, Germany) with its first compact global optical transport system and switch, the LambdaUnite multiservice switch (MSS). Deutsche Telekom will test the system for support and deployment of broadband services in its global optical network. Developed by Bell Labs, the LambdaUnite MSS brings together switching capacity, functionality, density, and flexibility in one box with a very small footprint.
Cable & Wireless plc (London) completed the acquisition of PSINet Japan Inc. from PSINet Inc. for $16.6 million. PSINet Japan provides IP connectivity and Web hosting services for enterprise customers in Japan. The acquisition will reinforce Cable & Wireless's position in Japan's growing Internet market and accelerate the company's strategy and presence in Japan.
LightConnect Inc. (Newark, CA), a global supplier of diffractive microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based dynamic components for optical networking, signed Marubun Corp. (Tokyo) as its exclusive Japanese sales representative. Marubun has the sales rights for nine fiber-optic components, subsystems, and test and measurement equipment suppliers in Japan.
China Netcom Corp. Ltd., a facilities-based broadband telecommunications operator in China, deployed the first live multiservice resilient-packet-ring (RPR) platform from Luminous Networks (Cupertino, CA). China Netcom is deploying Luminous's metro platform in nine cities, including Shanghai, Dalian, Guangzhou, Foshan, Shunde, Mianyang, Quanzhou, Shaoxing, and Jiaxing-spanning five provinces.
Internet Initiative Japan Inc. (IIJ-Tokyo) completed an upgrade of its Japan-United States backbone lines from 1.8 Gbits/sec to 2.25 Gbits/sec by securing additional capacity of 600 Mbits/sec between Tokyo and San Jose, CA. IIJ increased its Japan-U.S. backbone capacities by about 12,000 times since placing its first international dedicated line in March 1994.
C2C Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), a subsidiary of Signapore Telecommunications Ltd., secured $700 million of secured financing facilities, comprising a $660-million five-year amortizating term loan and a $40-million three-year revolving credit facility. The loan will fund development and construction of C2C's $2.1-billion 17,000-km pan-Asian submarine cable network, which links the major business centers of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Singapore, with connectivity to the United States.
Asia Global Crossing, a company formed by Global Crossing Ltd., Microsoft, and Softbank, announced the landing of its East Asia Crossing subsea cable system in Singapore. The link connects Singapore to more than 200 cities and 27 countries through the Asia Global Crossing/Global Crossing Network. East Asia Crossing is the first privately owned pan-Asian subsea cable system. Initial transmission speed will be 80 Gbits/sec, upgradable to 2.56 Tbits/sec.
PT Telekom, an Indonesian telecommunications com pany, awarded a turnkey contract worth more than 70 million euros to Pirelli (Milan, Italy) and Siemens IC Networks (Munich) for a terrestrial-undersea backbone network in the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The network will span Sumatra from east to west. This project is the first of the Pirelli-Siemens partnership, established in May 2001, to jointly develop optical submarine transmission equipment for communications network applications.
Africa · Middle East · Australia
Australia Japan Cable, a 12,000-km undersea fiber-optic cable linking Australia to Japan via Guam, began commercial operations. The cable deploys SDH ring technology and was constructed by NEC (Tokyo), and Telstra NDC Ltd. (Melbourne) provided project-management services. The cable's major shareholders include Telstra, WorldCom, Japan Telecom, NTT Com, Teleglobe, and Concert.
Bahrain Telecommunications Co. (Batelco-Manama, Bahrain) awarded a contract to PurOptix (Carlsbad, CA) to deliver a turnkey fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-business pilot network for up to 100 homes and 20 businesses in Bahrain. Following trials at PurOptix facilities, the installation in Bahrain will take place in the second quarter. Successful trials are expected to yield additional contracts for high-volume deployment throughout Bahrain beginning in the third and fourth quarters.
Powercor Australia, a major electricity distribution company covering more than half of the state of Victoria, selected fiber equipment from ADC (Minneapolis) for each of the 33 sites along its fiber-optic ring to Ballarat and Bendigo. ADC will provide fiber cable-management equipment, including its OMX600 optical distribution frames and its Fiberguide raceway system. PowerCor is constructing a fiber network that will connect its electricity substations and offices with its head office in central Melbourne.