Cabletron finds fertile soil 'down under' for switching solutions

An active presence in Australia during the past 10 years is paying big dividends for Cabletron Systems (Rochester, NH), landing the company at least two new contracts for switching products worth several million dollars. UEComm, formerly United Energy Telecommunications, a bulk bandwidth Internet service provider (ISP) in Melbourne, selected Cabletron's Gigabit Ethernet switching solution for its metropolitan area network (MAN) across Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

Investing millions of dollars in new infrastructure, including Cabletron's layer-3/4 SmartSwitch Router (SSR) technology, UEComm is connecting major commercial buildings in each city with Internet protocol (IP)-based services communicating at Gigabit speeds. With telecommunications deregulation driving competition across the continent, UEComm intends to give the other providers a run for their money in terms of wide area network (WAN) service and functionality. Cabletron's John Roese, chief technology officer, believes the Australian market is a technology-driven proving ground for validating new and innovative products.

"My personal observation is that the Australian market has one customer base that I really enjoy dealing with," says Roese. "They tend to take advantage of new technologies quite a bit sooner than the rest of the Pacific Rim in a lot of cases. We find there is less marketing and more of a technology emphasis. For the most part, a lot of leading-edge technologies tend to emerge first in Australia because they're willing to take advantage of new and interesting solutions."

Cabletron is enjoying success with its switching product solutions, landing a second Australian contract just weeks behind the UEComm deal. Amcom Telecommunications, a Perth-based telecommunications provider in Western Australia, will deploy a Cabletron broadband-switching solution for seamless delivery of data, voice, and multimedia applications to consumers and businesses. Amcom is deploying IP services across a $2.5-million fiber-optic MAN infrastructure that includes the University of Western Australia and 13 hospitals. Both Amcom and UEComm will also deploy Cabletron's spectrum network-management solution.

According to David Gabo, director of technology at Cabletron Systems (Australia), the company has a "razor-sharp" focus on Australia as a chosen market and intends to entrench itself in a leadership position there.

"Australia is a comparatively small but a very competitive and sophisticated market, and the key to our success there is focus and flexibility," says Gabo. "Over the last 12 to 18 months, we've focused in Australia in the areas of layer 4 switching, our spectrum enterprise-management solutions and wireless technologies. Focusing on selected vertical markets, the most notable success we've had is in the emerging service-provider segment, including the recent deals with UEComm and Amcom."

Cabletron is taking advantage of a technology-savvy Australian market that judges and takes advantage of the latest in breakthrough technologies. As opposed to a lot of other companies that are market-driven, Roese emphatically points out that Cabletron is a technology-driven vendor, something he believes is a good fit for a hungry Australian market with a high success rate in deploying new technologies.

"We're seeing Australia readily embracing Gigabit switching and routing and ISP-type technologies," says Roese. "That allows us to leverage large fiber infrastructures, either metropolitan network services or even Ethernet to the house. There just seems to be a willingness in Australia to go after these technologies quickly and take advantage of them while the technologies are early into their life cycles. For the most part, their success rate with these new technologies tends to be very high."

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