Update

Avanex (Fremont, CA) agreed to acquire substantially all the assets of Vitesse Semiconductor's Optical Systems Division in San Jose, CA, in exchange for approximately 1.2 million shares of Avanex common stock. Based on the closing price of Avanex's stock at the time of the announcement, the transaction has a value of about $6 million. Avanex will also buy up to $2 million in products from Vitesse over the next three years. Completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Acterna (Germantown, MD) filed its proposed plan of reorganization and disclosure statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Developed with the support of its senior secured debt holders, Acterna's reorganization plan will reduce the company's long-term debt by $770 million, or 80%, and lower its annual cash interest expense by at least $45 million. The plan has the support of the company's official committee of unsecured creditors. Assuming court approval of the plan, Acterna expects to emerge from Chapter 11 protection early this month.

Bechtel (San Francisco) awarded a $25-million subcontract to Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) for emergency repair and rehabilitation of the communications network in Iraq. Bechtel was awarded a contract by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to design, rehabilitate, upgrade, and reconstruct Iraq's infrastructure, including emergency work on the country's communications system. Lucent will provide 13 central-office switches, optical transport technology, and network management systems designed for voice and high-speed data transmissions. Lucent Worldwide Services and Bechtel will work with Iraqi Telephone and Post Co. (ITPC) personnel and local Iraqi contractors to install and deploy the switching units to return 240,000 lines to service within ITPC's network serving Baghdad and the region around it. Lucent also will train Iraqi personnel to enable the transition of the operations of the network to ITPC. Bechtel estimates as much as 80% of the actual deployment work will be done by Iraqi workers and engineers.

DMG Technologies (Industry, CA) was formed with the acquisition of the assets and intellectual property rights of the Demeter Module Group from Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA). The purchase was privately funded. DMG Technologies will design and manufacture optical subassemblies, including laser/PIN diodes and detectors, as well as bidirectional and combiner devices. The company will target telecom, datacom, cable TV, and instrumentation systems. DMG is under the direction of president and CEO Malcolm McLean, who was director of sales and marketing at thin-film manufacturer Auxora.

Idaho Falls Power has chosen Luminous Networks' (Cupertino, CA) PacketWave platforms to support its citywide metro network. Idaho Falls Power is a municipal electric utility serving the corporate city limits of Idaho Falls, ID. The utility is planning to expand its use of the PacketWave platforms to support video services from the city fire department's webcam and support DWDM applications.

Atlanta-based law firm Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy LLP (PGF&M) selected free-space optics equipment from Canon USA (Lake Success, NY), a subsidiary of Canon Inc., to provide a wireless Gigabit Ethernet connection between the firm's two buildings. PGF&M recently installed the Canobeam DT-55 optical-beam transceiver to provide a dependable high-bandwidth connection. Sources at the law firm say they expect a return on investment of 10 months versus what they would have had to pay for an equivalent landline.

Passive-optical-network equipment provider Optical Solutions (Minneapolis) closed its Series III financing, which raised $15 million. Existing investors that participated in the company's Series III financing include Sprout Group, St. Paul Venture Capital, Boston Millennia Partners, Coral Ventures, Intel Capital, and Menlo Ventures. Cisco Systems also joined the Series III financing as a new corporate investor.

Sagitta's (Hauppauge, NY) vice president of products, Guy Shechter, will lead the working group within the Telecommunications Industry Association Subcommittee 4.3.2 on Visual Inspection Measurement Methods in writing the End Face Geometry Measurement Methodology. The outcome of this workgroup will be an approved Fiber Optic Test Procedure (FOTP) that will be coordinated with the International Electrotechnical Commission and National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative.

Superconnect (Houston) and PCT International (Gilbert, AZ) partnered to jointly market, sell, and develop their fiber to the home (FTTH) products. PCT provides optical broadband communications hardware; Superconnect provides software and integration for FTTH deployments. The agreement allows PCT to bundle Superconnect software with its hardware products as an integrated offering and allows Superconnect to include PCT hardware in its turnkey FTTH Internet offerings.

Ciena (Linthicum, MD) acquired privately held Akara (Ottawa, Ontario). Akara developed systems for SONET/SDH-based extended storage-area networking for enterprises and carriers. Under terms of the acquisition agreement, Akara has merged with a wholly owned subsidiary of Ciena, and all remaining outstanding shares of Akara common and preferred stock were acquired for $31 million in cash and about 2.3 million shares of Ciena common stock. The price paid in the transaction was approximately $46.2 million, based on the closing price of Ciena's common stock on Aug. 29. Akara will continue operations from its Ottawa facility.

Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE—San Jose, Costa Rica), the sole telecommunications provider in Costa Rica, will deploy next-generation optical equipment from Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ). The systems will enable ICE to provide mobile and wireline services using a common transport network. Lucent, through its Business Partner, Coasin Costa Rica, will supply ICE with a variety of optical-networking systems to expand its nationwide SDH/WDM transport network, including the Metropolis ADM MultiService Mux, LambdaUnite Multiservice Switch, and WaveStar ADM 16/1. Coasin Costa Rica is working with ICE and Lucent to supply and implement the equipment.

Tecnología en Servicios Urbanos (TESUR S.A.) selected OFS (Atlanta) to provide optical-fiber and connectivity products to the government of La Pampa province in Argentina, for what will be first optical network of its kind in the province. The network, called Red de Fibra Optica y Sistemas de Comunicaciones Multimediales, is part of a bigger government project, Acueducto del Rio Colorado (Rio Colorado Aqueduct). The project is being built by a joint venture formed by TECHINT-SKANSKA with its subsidiary TESUR, a telecommunications network construction and services company. The network will operate and control a newly built aqueduct infrastructure as well as connect education, medical, security, justice, and research institutions and private companies. The network will support voice, data, video, and a range of digital services. OFS will supply loose tube armor composite cable with zero water peak Full Spectrum AllWave fiber, optimized for metro and regional links, and TrueWave RS fiber for long-haul links.

Telefônica Group (Sao Paulo, Brazil) has awarded a series of contracts to Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) collectively estimated at $20 million over three years for the expansion and maintenance of Telefônica Brasil's nationwide multiservice optical network and for maintenance and support services for the data backbone operations of Telefônica Empresas. Nortel will provide Telefônica Brasil with its OPTera Metro 4100, OPTera Metro 4200, and TN-1C. Telefônica Empresas will deploy Nortel's Passport 7000 multiservice switches, which are manufactured at the Nortel Networks Center of Excellence in Campinas, Brazil. Telefônica Empresas will also deploy Nortel's Passport 15000.

NKT Integration (Birkerød, Denmark), an independent planar-waveguide foundry, and C2V (Enschede, the Netherlands), an independent supplier of customized OEM integrated optics, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technologies, and software packages, established a collaboration to serve their mutual customers with the development and manufacture of customized, integrated optical components and sensors based on planar-lightwave-circuit (PLC) technology. As part of this collaboration, the parties will provide optical designs based on NKT Integration's PLC foundry process.

The team that helped develop the superluminescent light-emitting-diode (SLED) product line at Opto Speed resurfaced as EXALOS AG (Vaduz, Liechtenstein). A private company founded in June, EXALOS will design, develop, and sell SLED-based optoelectronic devices via a business model that emphasizes outsourcing. The company currently targets four markets: fiber-optic gyroscopes; optical coherence tomography; optical-channel monitors, chromatic and polarization-mode dispersion, and passive-component characterization in test equipment; and strain fiber-optic sensors.

Pandatel AG (Hamburg, Germany) formed a development company, Pandatel Ltd., in Kfar Saba, Israel. The new company is a 100% subsidiary of Pandatel AG. Pandatel Ltd. appointed Elroi Marom as managing director. Marom was director for access equipment at the Israeli company Native Networks. As the parent company's SDH/SONET Competence Center, Pandatel Ltd. will focus on the development of technologies and products for conventional optical networks based on the SDH/SONET protocol. All activities will be managed from the Hamburg headquarters.

Korean service provider DACOM selected the ST200 Service Edge Router from Laurel Networks (Pittsburgh) to deliver scalable, quality of service-enabled Layer 2 and IP virtual-private-network services from the network's edge. DACOM also will use the equipment to extend its ATM service across its metro Ethernet access network. Value of the award was not disclosed.

ElephantTalk Communications (Hong Kong) partnered with Guangdong Belton Telecommunications Tech-nology Development (Belton) to gain access to a nationwide fiber-optic network in China. The company plans to use the network to launch new IP-based services as well as enhance its existing IP-based value-added services in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. ElephantTalk will acquire a 15-year right of access and purchase rights for controlling ownership in Belton's China nationwide optical network, a 9,000-km nationwide fiber-optic backbone network valued at about $200 million in 2002.

China's Ministry of Information Industry (MII) certified Luminous Networks' (Cupertino, CA) PacketWave E-Series platform for MANs. All the PacketWave family of multiservice transport platforms, ranging from metro core to access layer products, has now been certified by the MII. As part of the certification process, the system passed voice and data tests performed by the MII in its Beijing lab. The platform also passed tests on the delivery of traditional Ethernet services, transparent Ethernet leased-line services, and TDM leased-line services and MPLS services while experiencing heavy emulated Ethernet, TDM, and PBX voice traffic.

Infineon Technologies AG (Munich, Germany) signed an agreement with United Epitaxy Co. (UEC—Taiwan) to set up a joint venture for the manufacture and development of fiber-optic components. The joint venture will be based within the existing facility of UEC at Hsinchu Science-based Industrial Park in Taiwan and will be established this month. Subject to approval by the German antitrust authority, Infineon will hold 56% of the shares of the joint venture and UEC the remaining 44%. The total investment over the next five years, including business startup, manufacturing site, equipment, and other infrastructure, amounts to approximately $12 million and will be made according to the shareholding ratio of the parent companies. When operating at full capacity of up to 100 wafer starts per week, the joint venture will employ around 120 people.

Koncent Communication (Fuzhou Fujian, China) has been awarded U.S. Patent Pub. App. No. 20030048912 for a two-stage optical isolator with a simplified assembly process and improved performance. The application of the patent is in optical communications systems, where the company claims the device can improve bandwidth performance and lower insertion loss while reducing size and cost. The company also received U.S. Patent Pub. App. No. 20030103725, "Packaging Methodology for DWDM and OADM Applications." This invention generally applies to optical communications systems, in particular, the packaging of components for optical devices such as WDM and optical add/drop modules.

Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) has built Korea Telecom's (KT) first optical long-haul DWDM network. The network, based on Nortel's OPTera Long Haul 1600 optical line systems, is designed to help KT address new business opportunities. The carrier's new optical network includes point-to-point connections from Gwangju, Kohung to Cheju Island (351 km) and from Gwangju, Namhae to Cheju Island (513 km). The network was sold through Nortel distributor Growell Telecom.

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