Ocular Networks releases OSX 3 for metro edge

Aug. 13, 2001--Ocular Networks, Inc., a provider of next-generation optical solutions for the metro edge, announced a new release of its Optical Service Xchange product family that allows carriers to leverage their existing SONET networks for mass deployment of services.

Ocular Networks, Inc., a provider of next-generation optical solutions for the metro edge, announced a new release of its Optical Service Xchange (OSX) product family that allows carriers to leverage their existing SONET networks for mass deployment of services, from T1s to Gigabit Ethernet. OSX Release 3 extends the cross-connect functionality of the award-winning OSX-6000 platform to support an unprecedented 18,816 VT 1.5s (T1 equivalents) in a single shelf, as well as adding standards-based Ethernet over SONET capabilities for both the OSX-6000 and OSX-1000.

By deploying the OSX-6000, carriers can reduce capital costs by two-thirds over legacy Digital Cross Connect Systems (DCS). The OSX platform also reduces operational costs by consuming only one-twentieth the space, one-tenth the power, and requiring only a fraction of the installation time of more complex legacy systems. And whereas optical cross connects have traditionally been used in the long distance network and in the metro core, the OSX platform claims to be the first system to deliver "carrier scale" VT-level cross-connect functionality at the metro edge, enabling carriers to optimize the capabilities of their existing networks -- as well as existing operational and support systems -- to meet demand for existing and emerging services.

While optical technologies are extending deeper into the metro network, carriers face significant challenges when attempting to capitalize on bandwidth at a retail level. With fiber reaching only 10 percent of retail customers, and with 80 percent of carrier revenues coming from voice services, T1s remain the workhorse of service delivery.

Most metro optical-networking equipment supports management of only a few hundred SONET VT1.5s, if any at all (a VT 1.5, or virtual tributary, is a logical T1 within a SONET network). To aggregate and manage the tens of thousands of T1s that can be carried over optical connections, service providers must use legacy digital cross connect systems, devices that take up multiple racks, consume tens of thousands of watts of power, and cost millions to tens of millions of dollars. In addition, legacy DCS equipment has no capability of managing emerging Ethernet services.

With cross-connect capability supporting 18,816 VT 1.5s in a single shelf, the OSX-6000 can replace eight custom racks of DCS equipment in one-third of a standard rack at a fraction of the cost and power consumption. The OSX-6000 also provides integrated SONET transport functionality, data capabilities, and interface speeds up to OC-192, functions not available with traditional DCS equipment.

Unlike most metro optical-networking equipment, which must be justified based on unknown demand for emerging services, the OSX family provides an instant business case by replacing costlier DCS equipment for existing services. With its smaller footprint, lower cost, and integrated transport capabilities, the OSX also makes the network more efficient by allowing cross connects to be used in places where they could not be justified before. With distributed DCS capability, the OSX can eliminate the cost and extended provisioning complexity of "backhauling" traffic to central locations.

The OSX family also provides new revenue opportunities for native Ethernet services with Ethernet over SONET capabilities. New features on both the OSX-6000 and OSX-1000 will allow carriers to map Ethernet services onto concatenated SONET Virtual Tributaries (VTs) or Synchronous Transport Signals (STSs), the basic building blocks of SONET. The concatenation of lower-speed circuits to carry Ethernet traffic eliminates the restriction of transporting data traffic in 1.5 megabit, 45 megabit, and 155 megabit increments. At the same time, carriers can leverage their existing SONET infrastructure and management systems to deliver Ethernet traffic anywhere their SONET network reaches. These services can even be managed using the existing TL-1 base management systems and existing field expertise.

The OSX family consists of the OSX-6000, OSX-1000, and MetroWatch Management System. The OSX-6000 is targeted for use in central offices, carrier hotels, and high-density buildings, where it can manage both voice and data traffic for thousands of customers. Utilizing Ocular Networks' patented Single Switch Architecture, the OSX-6000 eliminates the cost, complexity, and inefficiencies of multiswitch, multilayer systems for delivery of voice and data services. The OSX-1000 represents a breakthrough size and cost for delivery of T1 and Ethernet services to lower-density applications, such as small to medium-sized multitenant buildings, collocation facilities, and wireless cell sites. The system supports point-and-click provisioning as well as flow-through provisioning from existing TL-1 and SNMP-based management systems.

The OSX family is currently available. Release 3 of the OSX family will be entering trials in 3Q 2001 and will be generally available by year-end 2001.

About Ocular Networks:

Ocular Networks develops optical edge solutions that allow local service providers to offer high-density voice and data services to customers both on and off the fiber network. For more information, visit www.ocularnetworks.com.

More in Earnings Statements