Aduro (Pleasanton, CA), an optical-subassembly company, agreed to acquire Blaze Network Products (Pleasanton). Aduro also announced that it has launched its first two optical-subassembly product lines: four-channel, 850-nm-based TOSAs and ROSAs. The company expects to follow these products with four-channel 1300-nm-based TOSAs and ROSAs. Both product lines are capable of handling 12.5 Gbits/sec of unencoded data or 10 Gbits/sec of encoded Ethernet data. Aduro expects to have all the Blaze equipment online and most of the key products converted into subassemblies by mid-year.
The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) chose Motorola Broadband Communications Sector (Horsham, PA) and Quantum Bridge Communications (Andover, MA) to provide a fiber to the premises (FTTP) network to deliver voice, video, and data to select residents in the city. The CPAU will trial FTTP equipment from the two companies with the intention of replacing the municipality's legacy infrastructure. Currently in trial, this network will ultimately deliver services to the 26,000 residents of Palo Alto, CA. The potential value of the deal was not disclosed.
Advanced Fibre Communications (AFC—Petaluma, CA) will acquire North American Access (NAA), a business unit of Marconi Communications, a subsidiary of Marconi Corp. PLC (London). AFC's subsidiary will acquire NAA for $240 million in cash and purchase the assets of NAA's business, which includes optical access equipment that supports fiber to the curb. The transaction, expected to be completed this quarter, encompasses NAA's Bedford, TX, facility and its employees and supports AFC's business strategy to expand its optical access portfolio and enhance its ability to serve large telecommunications carriers.
Calient Networks (San Jose, CA), a provider of intelligent photonic switching systems and software, raised $20 million in its fourth funding round. The new financing raises the total capital invested in Calient to over a quarter-billion dollars. New investor Sofinnova Ventures co-led the round with existing investors Enterprise Partners and TeleSoft Partners. Existing investors Storm Ventures and Van Wagoner Funds also participated, joined by new investor SDL Ventures. The company has scheduled a second closing in March to accommodate other interested investors for up to $10 million.
Open Access (Long Island, NY), a network access company operating in the New York City area, is using Canobeam free-space optical systems from Canon USA (Lake Success, NY), a subsidiary of Canon Inc., in its networks. Open Access uses the Canon systems to connect the fiber backbone to its customers' place of business.
DuPont Photonics Technologies LLC (Wilmington, MA) selected the Palomar Technologies (Vista, CA) FAST 60 Optical Alignment System to automate the testing of manufactured planar integrated photonic devices for use in optical networks.
Level(3) Communications (Broomfield, CO) completed the previously announced sale of the Midwest Fiber Optic Network (MFON) to CenturyTel. MFON is a regional communications system that Level(3) acquired through its transaction with Genuity last year. CenturyTel purchased the standalone system, which serves as a regional backbone for a number of carriers, including CenturyTel itself, in Arkansas, Missouri, and Illinois. Level(3) expects to receive approximately $17 million from CenturyTel, including cash consideration of about $16 million for the business and $1 million in accounts receivable. The purchase price is subject to post-closing adjustments; however, those adjustments are not expected to be material.
Movaz Networks (Atlanta) was selected as the optical-networking equipment provider for the National Science Foundation-funded effort to create intelligent end-to-end network transport services for advanced e-science applications. Called Dynamic Resource Allocation via Generalized MPLS Optical Networks (DRAGON), the project will explore the ability of such optical networks to serve very advanced e-science applications. DRAGON will begin early next year and is expected to last until 2008. The optical core of the DRAGON network will use Movaz's iWSS optical switch. Value of the award was not disclosed.
OmniGuide Communications (Cambridge, MA), a company developing hollow-core cylindrical photonic bandgap optical fibers, closed a Series C round of financing of $15 million. New investors are Westbury Partners, which has led the round, and Gainesborough Investments. First-round investors Ray Stata and Mukesh Chatter and second-round investors Alliance Technology Ventures and 3i US also participated in this round. To date, OmniGuide has raised $29.5 million. James W. Schubauer II, president of Westbury Partners, and Mikko Suonenlahti, a director with 3i US, will join OmniGuide's board of directors.
Progress Telecom (St. Petersburg, FL), a wholesale broadband services provider, and EPIK Communications (Orlando, FL) combined operations to create a new company, Progress Telecom LLC. The company will be headquartered in the Tampa Bay, FL, area. Progress Energy and Odyssey Telecorp will be joint owners. The combined network, extending from Miami to New York, will support a product portfolio that includes private-line transport, optical wavelength, Ethernet, IP transit, and Internet access.
SBC (San Antonio, TX) expanded its metropolitan optical-networking portfolio, furthering the company's national data strategy targeting enterprise customers. The new portfolio includes the OPT-E-MAN switched metro Ethernet service and enhanced GigaMAN point-to-point Ethernet service, FibreMAN storage-networking service, Multi-Service Optical Networking DWDM service, and PremierSERV managed services portfolio.
Litestream Technologies (Tampa, FL) and Superconnect (Houston) turned up consumer fiber to the home (FTTH) installations in Tampa and St. Augustine, FL. Litestream partners with homebuilders to be responsible for the management and operations of fiber to the curb (FTTC) and FTTH deployments in new residential master-planned communities. Litestream uses Superconnect to manage Internet and monitoring services for their FTTC and FTTH deployments.
Columbus Telephone (Columbus, KS), a customer-owned and -operated utility in the southeast corner of Kansas, began construction last month of a new fiber to the premises network reaching the company's nearly 3,400 subscribers. The company expects its new optical network will be completed in the fourth quarter. Wave7 Optics (Atlanta) will supply its Last Mile Link equipment for use in the network. Monte R. Lee and Co. of Oklahoma City managed the RFPs for this project and now serves as project manager of the construction phase; Utility Contracting (Jefferson City, MO) is the project's contractor. Wave7 Optics also will provide the network and premises connection equipment for the new all-fiber "business Internet" service from EPB Telecom (Chattanooga, TN), a division of EPB, one of the nation's largest publicly owned utility companies. The new network, which is already operational, will provide a minimum of a T-1 equivalent (1.5 Mbits/sec) for voice and data services (e.g., 10/100 Ethernet), with the capacity to add video (cable TV, videoconferencing, etc.) at a later date.
Optical ground wire and connectivity products from Corning Cable Systems (Hickory, NC) are now being installed for use in Panama's 400-km national optical-backbone project. The installation follows from a contract awarded to Corning in November 2002 from Consorcio Andino. The latter was awarded a turnkey contract with Etesa, a state-owned full-service power and telecommunications provider in Panama, for delivery and installation of equipment for the optical transmission technology needed to construct a link connecting several cities in Panama. The project connects Guasquitas to Panama City, crossing the Panama Canal and providing fiber connectivity throughout the network. It is part of an overall project by Etesa to build transmission lines to distribute power and telecom from the western part of the country to other areas within Panama, including Panama City.
Telefonica International Wholesale Services (Madrid) and Tyco Telecommunications (Morristown, NJ) signed a contract for a network upgrade for the Emergia Cable System, Telefonica's undersea fiber-optic ring network that connects Central, North, and South America. The network, which Tyco Telecommunications constructed for Telefonica in 2001, comprises 12 landing stations connecting the United States, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Brazil, and Argentina on the eastern coast of South America and Chile, Peru, and Guatemala along the western coast. Upon completion, the upgrade will double the existing capacity of the Emergia network to 80 Gbits/sec.
Cogent Communications Group (Washington, DC), a tier one optical Internet service provider, acquired the operating entities of LambdaNet Communications France SAS and LambdaNet Espana SA. LambdaNet is the current trade name for what was previously Firstmark Communications, a large pan-European carrier's carrier offering point-to-point and Internet connectivity to businesses. Immediately preceding Cogent's acquisition, LambdaNet Spain and LambdaNet France received new equity investments from a group of private equity investors based in Europe and the United States. These investors will become shareholders of the combined company. As a result of the acquisition, Cogent's North American network now extends across the Atlantic to France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Switzerland.
Firma Svyaz, a telephone and Internet service provider in the region of Krasnodar, Russia, successfully completed the deployment of fiber to the premises (FTTP) systems from Terawave Communications (Hayward, CA). The carrier will use the FTTP equipment to offer Ethernet, E1, and voice services to government agencies, educational institutions, and businesses. Golden Line, a supplier of leased lines in Moscow, also recently announced deployment of Terawave's FTTP systems.
Level(3) Communications (Broomfield, CO) expanded its European network to Vienna. The Level(3) network now serves 20 of Western Europe's largest markets. In addition, Level(3) is doubling IP capacity on one of the two network rings it operates in Germany. The ring, connecting Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Karlsruhe, Frankfurt, and Leipzig, will have an expanded capacity of 10 Gbits/sec.
Vodafone Hungary (Budapest) will use the Tellabs (Naperville, IL) next-generation SDH and access equipment to build its own mobile transport infrastructure, enabling it to become less reliant on leased lines while reducing operating costs. By combining Tellabs' 6300 managed transport system and 8100 managed access system under the Tellabs 8100 network management system, Vodafone will be able to integrate and handle multiple services in a single platform.
ECI Telecom (Petah Tikva, Israel) entered into a strategic relationship with Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) to deliver broadband access networking equipment that will address the increasing global demand for multimedia and triple-play services (voice, video, and data). The agreement provides a framework for the two companies to cooperatively engage in sales and marketing activities that will leverage Nortel Networks' global telecommunications experience with ECI's broadband access products and market presence.
Alcatel (Paris) and Beijing Communications, a subsidiary of China Netcom, signed a $20-million contract to build an intelligent optical network in Beijing. The contract was won through Alcatel Shanghai Bell, Alcatel's flagship Chinese company. Alcatel will provide China Netcom with its end-to-end intelligent multiservice metro platforms, including the Optical Multi-Service Node, a crossconnect and network management platform. Alcatel will also establish a technical support center in Beijing to ensure the rapid deployment of the new network. The project is scheduled for completion in July.
Singapore Technologies Telemedia (ST Telemedia) and Global Crossing (Florham Park, NJ) consummated their purchase agreement, allowing a newly restructured Global Crossing to emerge from Chapter 11 proceedings. ST Telemedia invested $250 million in Global Crossing for a 61.5% equity share of the company. Global Crossing's reorganization plan, which was confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in December 2002, became effective Dec. 9, 2003. In addition to its $250-million equity investment, ST Telemedia has agreed to purchase $200 million in senior secured notes that originally were to be distributed to former creditors. Under the final amended plan of reorganization, the $200-million cash injection by ST Telemedia was used by Global Crossing to pay its creditors.
Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) and Salira Optical Network Systems (Santa Clara, CA) will work together to deliver network solutions to service-provider customers in the Asia-Pacific region. Lucent Worldwide Services will leverage its expertise in network design, deployment, maintenance, and post-sale services to support Salira's line of Ethernet passive-optical-network broadband systems.
Xtellus (Morris Plains, NJ), maker of optical modules and components for reconfigurable optical networks, will supply Korea Photonics Technology Institute (KOPTI—Gwangju City, South Korea) with its Dynamic Blocker Equalizer wavelength-blocker technology. KOPTI was established in 2001 with a $130-million grant from the South Korean government to help photonics companies develop and commercialize new technologies. As an initial activity, KOPTI will use the wave-blocker technology to develop and showcase reconfigurable-optical-add/drop-multiplexer applications. KOPTI will also work with Xtellus's subsidiary in South Korea, which fabricates liquid-crystal processors for telecommunications applications, to identify, create, and accelerate the commercialization of Xtellus fiber-optic products. The Korean government is granting a total of $750 million over the next five years to Gwangju City to build a photonics infrastructure, with KOPTI at its heart. KOPTI is equipped with long-haul and metro DWDM and WDM-PON testbeds as well as a Telcordia qualification lab. In addition, KOPTI's proposed new subsystem FAB Line Program is expected to fill a gap between new business startups and venture capitalists by supporting prototyping, pilot production, and marketing.