In Brief

Colt Telecommunications has been chosen as a primary contractor, along with another supplier, in a £15m deal lasting at least five years to provide Transport for London (TfL) with DWDM-based services. The aim is to relieve vehicle traffic congestion by 10-15% and raise at least £130m for public transport, which will be used to invest in improvements across the capital.

TfL is using a DWDM design created by Colt that links a central data hub with network cameras over analog video circuits. The project will be implemen-ted by October 2002.

Meriton Networks, developer of the OADX (Optical Add/Drop Switch) for integrated wavelength switching and transport services in the metro core, has expanded into Europe, establishing its European headquarters in Bristol, UK. The company has appointed Patrick Roberts and Gerard Owens to lead the expansion. Roberts is a member of Meriton's advisory board and is introducing Meriton to telecom carriers throughout Europe.

Volex intends to establish cabled fibre production operations in Tczew, Poland, having acquired the cable assembly activities of Flextronics in that country. Approximately 50 Flextronics employees in Poland will transfer to Volex. The company will develop this new manufacturing site to support its total cable assembly portfolio for the European infocom market.

The University of Bremen has succeeded in producing a gallium nitride-based laser diode emitting a blue-violet spectral range on a 3x2" CCS MOCVD reactor provided by Thomas Swan Scientific Equipment Ltd. (TSSEL). Professor Detlef Hommel's team at the Institut für Festkörperphysik (Institute for Solid State Physics) represents one of the first university research groups to achieve electrically pumped blue laser activity from GaN-based materials.

For the year to end-March, BT Group revenues were GBP18.44bn (Euro29.74bn) up 8% on a year ago. Pre-tax profit was GBP1.27bn (Euro2.05bn) down 28%. However, this included a loss of £353m (Euro569m) for its BT Ignite corporate fixed-line business, up from last year's loss of £309m (Euro498m). Debt has been halved to £13.7bn (Euro22.1bn) beyond the target of £15-20bn (Euro22-34bn) and dividends resumed. For the fourth quarter, profit was £371m (Euro598m), up 43% on revenues of £4.7bn (Euro7.6bn) up 5%.

Pirelli Group, Milan, Italy, announced that, in Q1/2002, its Telecom Cables and Systems sector made an operating loss of Euro2m compared to a profit of Euro81m in the same quarter a year ago. This was on sales of just Euro164m - down 58.9% on a year ago. Chief executive Marco Tronchetti Provera told Dow Jones that he does not expect the telecommunications cable industry to recover this year. "In 2003, we'll see some signs of improvement but not a true recovery."

Adva Optical Networking has announced its Q1/2002 results for the period ended 31 March. Revenues reached Euro21.6m, an increase of 19.6% over Q1/2001 of Euro18.0m. Pro forma operating loss improved from Euro3.6m in the first quarter 2001 to and operating income of Euro0.1m in Q1/2002. Pro forma net loss from continuing operations improved from Euro2.7m in Q1 2001 to Euro0.1m this year. Net loss from continuing operations in Q1 2002 was Euro1.4m, compared to actual net income from continuing operations of Euro14.7m a year ago. Adva posted an actual net loss of Euro1.5m in Q1 2002 and Euro5.9m in Q1 2001.

Market analyst IDC's annual optical networking market share survey last month revealed that Ciena has achieved the global leadership position for long-haul dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) system deployment.

The results relate to the year ending December 2001.

The Microsystems team of QinetiQ, Malvern, UK, has been chosen to lead a microsystems technology (MST) manufacturing consortium called INTEGRAM (Integrated Microsystems) as part of the European Commission's Europractice programme. The Euro1.3m, three-year contract is designed to help small companies and universities gain access to MST by prototyping MEMS and components for optical communications.

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