Industry Update

North America

Sycamore Networks Inc. (Chelmsford, MA) will acquire Sirocco Systems Inc. (Wallingford, CT) in a transaction valued at approximately $2.9 billion. Per the agreement, Sycamore will exchange common stock for all outstanding shares of Sirocco and will assume all outstanding Sirocco options. Sirocco develops and markets optical-access aggregation, switching, and network-management products targeted at the metropolitan access market.

BTI Telecommunications Services (Raleigh, NC) has completed its acquisition of US Datacom Inc. (Raleigh, NC), a provider of enterprise solutions for local and data/frame WANs, network management, and security and Internet integration. Per the agreement, BTI purchased 100% of US Datacom stock in a combination of stock and cash. US Datacom will continue to operate under the same name as a business unit of BTI. BTI has also secured two agreements totaling $11.4 million to provide two national telecommunications carriers access to key routes along its 500-mi Coastal Carolina fiber-optic network.

Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) will combine its optical-components businesses to create a single business entity, High Performance Optical Components Solutions. The new business unit will bring together approximately 6,000 Nortel employees, located primarily in Harlow and Paignton, UK; Ottawa, Ontario; and Research Triangle Park, NC. According to the company, the new unit will focus on a single charter: redefining the Internet through industry leadership in high-performance optical components.

Siecor Operations (Hickory, NC) has now officially adopted its new name, Corning Cable Systems, as a result of Corning Inc.'s (Corning, NY) acquisition of Siecor's and Siemens's worldwide cable and hardware operations. Established in 1977, Siecor had been a 50-50 equity venture between Corning and Siemens. The new company will include the former Siecor Operations, Siemens Communications Cables, Corning Cables, and Siemens RXS businesses.

Petabit routing company Hyperchip Inc. (Montreal) will partner with LINMOR Technologies (Nepean, Ontario) to develop performance management solutions for Hyperchip's highly scalable routers. Hyperchip will use LINMOR's NEBULA Performance Monitor, which facilitates the management of Internet core and access networks such as Internet protocol, ATM, frame relay, DSL, cable modem, and wireless Internet.

Allied Riser Communications Corp. (ARC-Dallas) and AirFiber Inc. (San Diego) have entered into a strategic technology initiative aimed at eliminating local-access barriers to high-bandwidth connectivity for ARC customers. ARC will begin trials of AirFiber's OptiMesh network technology, which transmits voice, data, and multimedia services through the air using invisible beams of light.

Siemens Information and Communication Networks Inc. (Boca Raton, FL), through its subsidiary Optishere Networks Inc. (Boca Raton), has signed an agreement allowing Hitachi Telecom Inc. (Norcross, GA) to resell its TransXpress Infinity optical-service-node regenerator. The revenue resulting from the agreement could reach $15 million this year. The companies have also successfully completed interoperability testing between Siemens' TransXpress Infinity long-haul transport system and Hitachi's AMN 5192 OC-192 SONET 4-fiber BLSR system.

ANTEC Corp. (Duluth, GA) and Lightchip Inc. (Salem, NH) will partner to develop a solution for low-cost, two-way, multiwavelength optical routing for the cable-TV industry. The resultant solution will combine Lightchip's optical-routing systems technology with ANTEC's 1,310 and 1,550 HFC optical transmission systems.

Lucent Technologies Inc. (Murray Hill, NJ) will acquire Chromatis Networks (Herndon, VA) in a stock transaction for approximately 78 million shares of Lucent common stock, valued at $4.5 billion. This figure excludes the approximately 7% stake in Chromatis that Lucent already owns through its Lucent Venture Partners venture-capital subsidiary. Chromatis's flagship product, the Metropolis system, integrates data (packet), voice (circuit), and video services on metropolitan networks and combines this traffic onto a WDM system. Lucent hopes the acquisition will move the company a step closer to bringing fiber optics to the consumer's desktop. Prior to the announcement, Chromatis and ANTEC Corp. (Duluth, GA) announced a three-year, multimillion-dollar agreement, whereby ANTEC will be the exclusive provider of Chromatis's Metropolis products in the cable market. The two companies are working on advanced cable applications such as integrated video, cable telephony, and IP/data networks as well as high-capacity data transport.

Alcatel (Paris) and Global Photon Systems Inc. (San Diego) have signed a $100-million contract for a fully integrated submarine and terrestrial DWDM network between San Francisco and San Diego. It will provide capacity of more than 4 Tbits for Internet, voice, and data services to all the major cities along the California coast. Alcatel has also formed a strategic relationship with integrated natural gas and electric company VPS Communications Inc. (Richmond, VA) to design, install, and manage a high-speed communications network in the eastern United States.

SDL Inc. (San Jose) and JDS Uniphase (Melbourne, FL) have announced an extension to their contract through 2001. Under terms of the contract, SDL supplies grating-stabilized 980-nm pump lasers to JDS Uniphase for the latter's high-performance erbium-doped fiber amplifiers. The extension doubles the base quantities previously agreed upon in the last contract.

Inrange Technologies Corp. (Mount Laurel, NJ) has reached a strategic alliance with Sorrento Networks Inc. (San Diego) to co-market Sorrento's GigaMux Metro-DWDM platform. Per the agreement, INRANGE will gain exclusive rights to supply Sorrento's carrier-class DWDM solutions for storage-area-network (SAN) applications within the worldwide enterprise marketplace. INRANGE will also incorporate the GigaMux solution into its own IN-VSN family of SAN solutions.

Alidian Networks Inc. (San Jose) and Computer Network Technology (CNT-Minneapolis) have entered into a partnership to ensure interoperability of Alidian's Optical Service Network (OSN) systems with the CNT UltraNet Gateway and Director products. Under terms of the alliance, Alidian will be responsible for initial sales and marketing of the combined solution, with CNT support for technical sales and customer support of its products. Alidian Networks has also entered into a partnership with Gadzoox Networks Inc. (San Jose) to test the interoperability of Alidian's OSN systems with Gadzoox's Fibre Channel-to-Gigabit Ethernet router, which will enable multiple SAN services to be transported on a single DWDM wavelength and delivered to separate customer destinations.

Gould Fiber Optics (Millersville, MD), a division of Gould Electronics Inc., has completed a patents license agreement with British Telecommunications plc (BT-London). Gould expects the agreement, which will permit the implementation of BT's technology, to boost its share in the optical-coupler market.

HomeTown Solutions (Minneapolis) has signed a 5-year, $2.7-million fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) contract with Optical Solutions Inc. (Minneapolis). Optical Solutions will provide its FiberPath FTTH solution for use in HomeTown Solutions' network deployment in Morris, MN, a town of 6,000 currently served by US West and Media Com. HomeTown Solutions will be competing for subscribers in that area. Optical Solutions also announced a five-year, $2.7-million contract with Minne sota-based HomeTown Solutions, a CLEC owned by Federated Telephone Cooperative (Chokio, MN) and Agralite Electric Cooperative (Benson, MN). The current contract will be deployed in Morris, a community of 6,000 residents. The Morris project will be used as a showcase to demonstrate Optical Solutions' FiberPath FTTH installation.

Adesta Communications Inc. (Omaha, NE) has received a contract from Northwest Colorado Telecom (NCT) to design, integrate, and construct a digital fiber-optic, 100-mi communication network in Colorado that will begin in Rifle and include the cities of Meeker and Craig. The contract complements an agreement made in April 1999 with the Colorado Department of Transportation to construct a 1,000-route-mi fiber-optic network.

The Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories (Livermore, CA) will license its technology in an emerging MEMS technique known as LIGA to photonic subsystems provider AXSUN Technologies (Billerica, MA). AXSUN's Agile Photonic Subsystems utilize micro-mechanical alignment structures that are fabricated using LIGA, a process Sandia also utilizes. LIGA, a German acronym for lithography, plating, and molding, enables MEMS made of robust metals, with dimensions ranging from a few microns to millimeters.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA-Arlington, VA) has published a new standard, Fiber-Optic Test Procedure (FOTP)-81, "Compound Flow (Drip) Test for Filled Fiber-Optic Cable." A revision of the earlier TIA/EIA-455-81B, FOTP-81 is intended to verify that filling and flooding compounds will not flow from a filled fiber-optic cable at stated temperatures. To obtain a copy of the document, visit (State College, PA) and SilCom Technology Inc. (Ontario, Canada) will jointly design and develop a transponder for the I-Flex II Fiber Node product line that will be compatible with proposed Hybrid Management Sublayer (HMS) standards. expects the HMS-compatible transponder will be ready for shipment and installation in a currently contracted deployment in Switzerland this quarter.

Chorus Communications Group Ltd. (Middleton, WI) has purchased five advanced FLASH600 ADX multiservice SONET and data-optical-networking platforms from Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. (Richardson, TX). Chorus will use three of the systems in its CLEC business in the Madison area and the other two to provide telephone service in its Hiawatha Broadband Com munications cable-TV operation in Winona, MN.

Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA) has received orders totaling $3 million for its LaserWeld Automated Packaging Systems. The equipment, which will be used in packaging solid-state laser components for a major manufacturer of fiber-optic communications components, is scheduled for delivery over the next two quarters.

Shaw Communications Inc. (Calgary, Canada) will deploy a multiservice network solution from Marconi plc (Pittsburgh). Shaw expects the Marconi platform to enable it to interconnect its high-capacity video servers locally and across Canada to deliver Internet products and offer high-capacity digital services coast-to-coast. The Marconi solution comprises ATM switching technology, allowing data, voice, and multimedia traffic to be delivered at speeds of up to OC-48 (2.488 Gbits/sec).

Integrated communications provider CapRock Communications (Dallas, TX) has chosen Alcatel (Paris) to supply fiber-optic cable to support its network expansion. The agreement will provide fiber for more than 2,000 route-mi of CapRock's planned 7,500-mi infrastructure. Bell Canada (Toronto) also has chosen Alcatel to provide the Optinex Optical Gateway Cross-Connect for its migration from the traditional broadband management points in its network to all-optical, large hub offices. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

US West (Denver), official local telecommunications sponsor of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, has signed a strategic agreement with Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) to supply equipment for its planned 31,200-fiber-mi network connecting all of the Olympic venues. Per the agreement, Lucent will deploy its WaveStar optical-networking products and will provide design, installation, and network-management functions for aspects of the network overlay.

Cable-telephony service provider Black Hills FiberCom (Rapid City, SD) has chosen ADC Telecommunications Inc.'s (ADC-Minneapolis) Homeworx hybrid fiber/coaxial (HFC) telephony platform for immediate deployment in its Rapid City network and other selected areas. The contract is valued at upwards of $2 million. ADC will also supply its Homeworx HFC platform to Midcontinent Communications (Sioux Falls, SD) for deployment in Midcontinent's Sioux Falls network. ADC estimates the potential value of this contract could reach $10 million over the next three years.

Marconi Communications (London) will incorporate Corning Inc.'s (Corning, NY) PurePath Dynamic Spectral Equalizer in to the design of Marconi's next-generation WDM product, part of its SMARTPHOTONIX product line. The SMARTPHOTONIX is an integrated family of products that supports optical transmission in long-haul and metropolitan networks.

Sprint (Westwood, KS) is beginning a lab evaluation of Tellabs' (Lisle, IL) TITAN 6500 Multiservice Transport Switch, a next-generation system that provides SONET/ SDH gateway, DWDM, and data- switching capabilities in a single platform. These capabilities include support for ATM, IP, and multiprotocol label switching.

Optical Micro-Machines Inc. (OMM-San Diego) has received $75 million in financing, more than half of which comes from global communications network-equipment manufacturers. OMM has raised $120 million since its founding in 1997 and has invested heavily in developing MEMS-based optical-switching subsystems. The company will add 200 new employees over the next 12 months and will move into a new 100,000-sq-ft facility, also in San Diego, this month.

Optical Solutions Inc. (Minneapolis) has completed a $65.5-million round of equity financing led by The Sprout Group, the venture-capital affiliate of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. The new funding, which brings the company's total to $89.7 million, will be used to expand operations to meet the growing need for the FiberPath optical access solution. Optical Solutions has also signed a four-year, $16-million contract with Integrated Broadband Network (IBN-Indianapolis) to provide IBN with the FiberPath solution for fiber-to-the-home deployments.

Startup TeraXion Inc. (Quebec City) has completed its first round of loan and equity financing, totaling CA$5.5 million. The company will use the funding to install cleanrooms into its facilities, purchase capital equipment, and hire additional technical and marketing personnel. Initially, TeraXion will manufacture optical components based on Bragg gratings.

OptiMight Communications Inc. (Mountain View, CA) has received $32 million in second-round financing, bringing its total to $37.5 million. Worldview Technology Partners led the round with new equity participation, followed by Meritech Capital Partners, Vertex Management Inc., Lucent Venture Partners Inc., Hook Partners, and Thomas Weisel Partners LLC. Returning investors include Brentwood Venture Capital and Venrock Associates. OptiMight will use the financing for the development of its high-capacity, long-reach multiterabit optical transport system.

K2 Optronics Inc. (Palo Alto, CA), developer of tunable-laser and optical-crossconnect subsystems, has secured first-round financing totaling $12 million, led by Alloy Ventures with Advent Venture Partners, Sutter Hill Ventures, The Photonics Fund, JAFCO American Ventures, and Dr. Narinder Kapany. The funding will be used to support infrastructure and staffing.

ADVA Optical Networking (Munich) announced that Bell Atlantic (New York City) selected the company's DWDM-based optical networking system. ADVA's business partner, Inrange Technologies, was awarded a three-year contract with Bell Atlantic to supply and support ADVA's Fiber Service Platform II. Applications supported will include storage area networking, transparent LAN networking over metropolitan areas, and SONET transport. The solution provides Bell Atlantic with an alternative to providing dark fiber to commercial customers for connecting data centers.

APA Optics Inc. (Blaine, MN) received an order for four of its new multimode-fiber multiplexer/demultiplexer units from a U.S. systems developer. APA also received a similar order for one unit from a European systems developer. Both buyers will conduct extensive performance tests on the products. APA's system is a 16-channel 200-GHz DWDM with the capability to add/drop from one to eight channels. APA also received an order for multiple units of a new 56-channel DWDM product. The names of the customers were not disclosed.

Able Telecom Holding Co. (Roswell, GA) announced that its network services group, Adesta Communications Inc. (Omaha, NE), has signed an agreement with Longmont Power & Com munications (Longmont, CO) to develop a broadband communications infrastructure in Longmont. The fiber-optic network will pass every home and business in the city and will be capable of offer ing advanced digital cable-television services, high-speed Internet access, and enhanced data and telephone services.

Broadwing Communications (Cincinnati) announced a deal with Canada's Gateway Networks in which Gateway purchased capacity on Broadwing's high-speed fiber-optic network for $25 million. The purchase allows Gateway to continue its rollout across North America as a carrier's carrier. In addition, Broadwing will provide Gateway with colocation services at all of its points of presence.

Cabletron Systems Inc. (Rochester, NH) announced that Silver Lake Partners (New York City) agreed to increase its investments in Cabletron and its four subsidiary companies- Riverstone Networks, Entersys Networks, GlobalNetwork Techno logy Services, and Aprisma Man agement Technologies. Along with a previously announced purchase of $65 million of Cabletron preferred stock, Silver Lake has agreed to purchase an additional $25 million. Silver Lake and Cabletron have agreed to increase the percentage of Silver Lake's potential equity stake in each of the new companies from 3% to 3.5%.

ITF Optical Technologies (Saint-Laurent, QC) announced completion of a $28-million round of financing, bringing the company's total funding to more than $40 million since its beginning in February 1998. ITF will use the funding to support the growth of the company and its proprietary ALL-Fiber technology that used optical fiber as the constituent medium. ITF also recently completed its first Telcordia Technologies Inc. (Morristown, NJ) qualification program GR-1221, Reliability Requirements for Passive Components.

Network Photonics (Boulder, CO) announced that New Enterprise Associates and US Venture Partners have joined forces to provide a first- round investment of $10 million in the company. Network Photonics is developing all-optical-networking solutions to enable the delivery of gigabit-level data services and alleviate the growing gap between gigabit enterprise networks and terabit fiber-optic backbones.

Sierra Pacific Communications (SPC-Reno, NV) and Touch America (Butte, MT) formed a partnership called Sierra Touch America LLC to construct a new 750-mi fiber-optic network between Sacramento and Salt Lake City. Under the agreement, Sierra Touch America will also assume part interest in the metropolitan fiber networks that SPC has in Reno and Las Vegas. Construction has already begun on the high-fiber-count, multiple-duct system, planned for completion by the summer of 2001 at a cost of $100 million.

Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. (MFN-New York City) finalized an agreement with Pacific Gateway Exchange Inc. (PGE-Burlingame, CA) to purchase PGE's ownership position in two transoceanic fiber-optic cable consortia. The acquisition includes capacity on the TAT-14 U.S.-Europe cable and the Japan-U.S. Cable Network, along with the acquisition of two of PGE's related Japanese subsidiaries. Under terms of the agreement, MFN will pay PGE approximately $52 million in net cash, primarily to reimburse it for payments to the consortia to date. MFN will then assume PGE's future payment obligations to the consortia.

Pathnet Inc. (Washington, DC) signed a multiyear agreement worth about $120 million with Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) for optical Internet solutions to enhance and extend the reach of Pathnet's service offerings across the United States. Pathnet plans to deploy Nortel's OPTera portfolio, beginning with the first commercial route development already in progress.

CIRREX Corp. (Atlanta), a developer of integrated optics for next-generation optical-networking solutions, received $6.5 million in venture capital. HIG Ventures led the financing with participation from Lucent Venture Partners, the venture-capital arm of Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ). With earlier funding, this brings the company's equity financing to $8.2 million to date. CIRREX plans to use the funds for product development, including a technical staffing initiative.

Sun Conversion Technologies (SCT-Quaker town, PA), a manufacturer of fiber-to-the-desk solutions for premise-networking applications, entered into an agreement with Panduit Corp. (Tinley Park, IL) to offer the small-form-factor Fiber Jack-compatible optical interfaces on a number of its Fast Ethernet products. Currently, SCT offers MT-RJ, ST, and SC duplex connectors on its product line of media converters, network interface cards (NICs), hubs, and optical cable assemblies. The addition of the Fiber Jack is intended to offer customers even more choice.

Bell Nexxia (Toronto) announced the delivery of Nortel Networks' (Brampton, Ontario) optical Ethernet solution to INTRIA-HP for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce's (CIBC) corporate IP network. INTRIA-HP is a joint venture of CIBC and Hewlett-Packard Co. (Palo Alto, CA) formed to provide electronic processing services for companies requiring mission-critical business activities. The deployment is the result of an existing partnership between INTRIA-HP and Bell Nexxia, and delivery of the optical Ethernet solution is part of a $75-million, multiyear agreement announced in late 1999.

Atmosphere Networks (Campbell, CA), recently acquired by Ditech, announced it would supply optical-networking access equipment as part of a contract awarded to Cox Business Services (Atlanta) by the San Diego Defense & Space Technology Consortium. Under the contract, Cox will provide communications capabilities, including Atmosphere's FSN 1200 Full Service Node, to the consortium. The solution includes a transparent LAN between the consortium's new Software Engineering Center in El Cajon, CA, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command data center in Point Loma, CA, as well as voice and high-speed data services.

SpectraSwitch Inc. (Santa Rosa, CA), a privately held optical-components manufacturer, completed its second round of venture-capital funding, raising $18.1 million in equity financing. The investor group was led by Advanced Technology Ventures and several other new investors. SpectraSwitch will use the new funds to continue development, marketing, and manufacturing of its optical components.

GST Telecommunications Inc. (Vancouver, WA), an integrated communications provider in California and the western U.S., filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Additionally, GST executed a letter of intent with Time Warner Telecom Inc. for the sale of substantially all the assets of GST for $450 million in cash. The sale is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court, the execution and delivery of a definitive purchase agreement, satisfactory completion of due diligence, state and federal regulatory approval, and other customary terms and conditions. GST's filing was necessitated by escalating cash flow problems, a substantial debt load, and an inability to secure other financing.

Worldwide Network Services Inc. (WWNS-Washington, DC) penned an agreement with Dynarc (Sunnyvale, CA) to purchase Dynarc's auto-provisioning routers for its business network. As part of the agreement, WWNS will also use its system integration expertise to assist Dynarc with new and existing clients that require comprehensive training and consulting. The long-term partnership will include deployment of an IP-centric network to deliver bandwidth on demand.

Optical startup Calient Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) entered the emerging all-photonic networking market with the announcement of an intelligent, ultra-dense switch architecture. Founded in March 1999, the company's Borderless Photonics switch architecture is based on SCREAM, or Scalable Control of a Rearrangeable and Extensible Array of Mirrors, allowing flexible tuned switch performance. Calient also completed $50 million in second-round financing. New investors included Juniper Networks Inc. (Mountain View, CA) and Tellabs Inc. (Lisle, IL). The new sources bring the companies' total amount raised to $56 million.


ADVA Optical Networking (Munich) will acquire First Fibre Ltd. (York, England), designer and manufacturer of carrier-class fiber access equipment and optical-networking systems. ADVA expects First Fibre's solutions to expand its already-established presence in metro and enterprise networks to the last mile of metro optical access networks. The purchase price of EUR 88 million will be paid in shares of ADVA common stock. ADVA has also announced an OEM agreement with Siemens Information and Com munication Networks Group (Munich, Germany). Per the agreement, Siemens will market, sell, and support ADVA's Fiber Service Platform (FSP)-I and FSP-II in Asia-Pacific, Europe, and South America.

Fibreway (Coventry, England), a subsidiary of Marconi Communications plc, (London) will acquire fiber on Viatel Inc.'s (New York, NY) pan-European network, which Fibreway intends to combine with its own U.K. network to provide advanced broadband services to its customers with high-bandwidth needs throughout Northern Europe. Fibreway plans to deploy Marconi optical transmission equipment to provide these broadband services. PSINet (Ashburn, VA) has also purchased over 14,000 km of dark fiber on Viatel's Pan-European network. The purchase includes colocation space in over 50 of Viatel's colocation centers and network points of presence.

Carrier1 International S.A. (Zurich, Switzerland) and 360networks Inc. (Vancouver, Canada) have signed a $175- million agreement to purchase fiber-optic network infrastructure throughout Europe and broadband capacity on their European, transatlantic, and North American networks. Carrier1 will provide 360networks with 1,900 mi of dark fiber on its German network as well as on its city rings in Paris and Amsterdam. 360networks will provide Carrier1 dark fiber on its 715-mi network between Liverpool and London. Carrier1 will also purchase broadband capacity on 360networks' transatlantic and North American networks, and 360networks will buy broadband capacity on Carrier1's 6,200-mile pan-European network.

Airtel Móvil S.A. (Madrid) has selected Lucent Technologies Inc. (Murray Hill, NJ) to supply and build its high-speed converged voice and data network. Per the agreement, Lucent will deploy its WaveStar OLS 400G, an 80-channel DWDM system, in Airtel's network, which will enable Airtel to transmit data at rates of up to 400 Gbits/sec. Lucent has already begun work on the first phase of the project, valued at approximately $18 million.

Siemens Information and Communication Networks Group (Munich, Germany) has successfully launched the first KomNet field trial with its DWDM long-range communications link between Berlin and Darmstadt. Siemens transmitted 8x10 Gbits/sec in each direction on one fiber over Deutsche Telekom's fiber network under practical operating conditions, corresponding to an overall capacity of 160 Gbits/sec or approximately 2.5 million telephone connections.

Startup Southampton Photonics (Southampton, UK) has received $55 million in first-round financing, which it will use to construct design, production, and sales facilities in Los Gatos, CA. In addition to hiring 250 engineers, manufacturing personnel, and sales and marketing staff for the new California facilities, the company will also create 200 high-tech jobs over the next 18 months in the U.K.

Viatel Inc. (New York City) announced it would deploy Cisco Systems Inc.'s (San Jose, CA) optical IP technology throughout its pan-European network to enable the rollout of a broad array of scalable optical IP-based services. Viatel will deploy Cisco 12016 Internet routers across its fiber-optic network, consisting of 7,000 completed route-km. By the end of the year, the Viatel network is expected to reach completion, totaling 10,400 route-km linking 59 major cities.

Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) signed an agreement with NETs (Paris) for the expansion of its pan-European optical network covering Benelux, Holland, Germany, France, Switzerland, and Spain. Under the agreement, Lucent will be NETs's preferred partner in the deployment of its network, providing NETs with high-speed optical-networking systems for its WaveStar product line, including the WaveStar OLS 400G 80-channel DWDM system.

Africa|Middle East|Australia

Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) has acquired an additional two-thirds interest in Photonic Technologies' (Sydney, Australia) optical-components manufacturing operation for $35.5 million in cash. Nortel already owns one-third of the company, which it acquired in 1998, when it formed an alliance with Photonic Technologies to develop circulators and fixed and dynamic gain-flattened filters.

Jordan Telecommunications Co. (JTC) has acquired additional DS-3 level broadband capacity between Aqaba and New York from FLAG Telecom (London). The acquisition is expected to enable JTC to meet the anticipated rise in Internet demand in Jordan. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Africa ONE Ltd. (Washington, DC), a private company that will build and own an undersea fiber-optic telecommunications system designed to serve the whole of Africa, has formed two strategic partnerships. Global Crossing Ltd. (Hamilton, Bermuda) will procure, install, and maintain the network, and Lucent Tech nologies (Murray Hill, NJ) will provide equipment for the network. A $1.9-billion venture, the undersea cable system will ring the entire continent and will be ready for service in 2002.

Telestra Corp. Ltd. (Sydney, Australia) will implement a direct connection between Australia and China. In the past, all Internet traffic between these countries has been routed via the United States. Telestra also plans to upgrade its Australia-Singapore traffic stream from 4 to 45 Mbits/sec and its Australia-Japan from 10 to 49 Mbits/sec. Other planned enhancements include additional bandwidth upgrades to Korea, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

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