Finisar (Sunnyvale, CA) agreed to acquire Infineon Technologies' Fiber Optics Business Unit (Munich) for 135 million shares of Finisar common stock. The acquisition transaction implies a valuation of $263 million based on the closing share price as of April 28. Following the transaction, Infineon will hold a 38% equity interest in Finisar. Based on market share data compiled by RHK, the combined entity will surpass Agilent Technologies as the optical-component market share leader.

AboveNet (New York City) will provide its Metro Gig-E service, a high-performance optical IP connection for the enterprise, to E! Networks, distributor of entertainment news and lifestyle programming. E! Networks will use the new high-speed network to deploy Web-based applications used to connect its creative, production, and operational units with its headquarters in Los Angeles.

Ciena (Linthicum, MD) completed the acquisitions of Catena Networks and Internet Photonics pursuant to the terms of merger agreements announced in February. Catena made integrated broadband access equipment, while Internet Photonics developed and distributed carrier-grade optical Ethernet transport and switching gear. Catena becomes Ciena's Broadband Access Group, led by former Catena chief executive Jim Hjartarson. Internet Photonics becomes part of Ciena's Metro and Enterprise Services Group led by James Frodsham, who recently joined Ciena from Nortel Networks.

American Fiber Systems (Rochester, NY) will purchase the operating assets of Marietta FiberNet (MFN—Marietta, GA), a fiber-optic transport business. MFN is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Marietta Board of Lights and Water, the municipal operating company that supplies utilities to the city of Marietta and surrounding areas. The $12.2-million cash purchase is expected to close by the end of this month.

Gemfire (Fremont, CA) completed its acquisition of NovaCrystals. The advanced avalanche photodiode technology from NovaCrystals, which can be manufactured using planar silicon processes, will complement Gemfire's recently acquired passive planar-lightwave-circuit (PLC) operations and existing polymer PLC waveguide products.

US Signal (Grand Rapids, MI) deployed the Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA) ONS 15600 multiservice switching platform to aggregate multiple OC-192 rings in its optical network operating in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. The 15600 will help enable US Signal to efficiently scale and manage its growing network core and redirect capital expenditures that can now be targeted at expanding its network.

Fujitsu Network Communications (Richardson, TX) announced that Rye Telephone (RTC—Colorado City, CO) is the first customer to purchase the new Flashwave 4020 Ethernet service platform (ESP). RTC is using the platform to relieve congestion in its access network and offer its customers competitive voice and broadband data services. RTC will deploy the Flashwave 4020 at remote edge locations and use an OC-12 unidirectional path-switched ring (UPSR) to connect to central offices. Voice services and advanced broadband applications will be provisioned through the ESP's seven DS-1 and four Ethernet interfaces, respectively. The company plans to deploy additional ESPs over the next two years.

The U.S. Department of Defense awarded Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) a $12.5-million contract for the Integrated Router Interconnected Spectrally (IRIS) program. The IRIS effort will focus on the next generation of super-fast ultra-high-capacity optical communications. The four-year IRIS award, administered by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (Rome, NY), will be used to develop the architecture, components, and prototype systems for all-optical packet routing in high-speed telecommunications systems. That includes the development of an optical packet router that can send and receive up to 100 Tbits of data. The research team will also develop photonic circuits that allow traffic in the network to be switched at speeds below a nanosecond.

The Fiber to the Home Council now has a "sister" organization in Europe. The Fibre to the Home Council–Europe elected a board and planned two major public events. A two-day event held in Brussels last month addressed European and national policies, regulations, and market stakeholders. The second event, planned for later this year, will target a wider audience of public- and private-network owners, operators, and content providers. More information on FTTH Council–Europe can be obtained from the council's secretariat, Judy Notman, +32 2 706 8736, europeinfo@ftthcouncil.org; Communication & Events Committee chairman Daniel Kiernan, +33 1 40765076, dan.kiernan@alcatel.fr; or Paul Naastepad, +31 654 211000, pauln@emtelle.com.

Stokab, the largest fiber carrier in the Stockholm region, selected the Lumentis (Stockholm) all-in-one and carrier-grade optical wavelength platform to provide a redundant eight-wavelength network between Stockholm and Visby, Gotland.

China Wireless Communications (Beijing) completed the first phase of its metro optical access network around the fourth ring road of Beijing and is actively selling its services to businesses. This first phase of the China Wireless network is located in the core business district of northern Beijing. The company will use the optical network to support its high-speed wireless services, virtual private network, and other wireless access, transport, and enhanced data services.

Great Wall Broadband Network Service (GWBN—Beijing), a broadband service provider, deployed the LightningEdge Ethernet access product suite from World Wide Packets (Spokane Valley, WA). GWBN will use the equipment to deliver simultaneous telephony, business and entertainment video, broadband data, and Internet access services to any combination of business and residential subscribers via Ethernet over fiber.

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