Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. (KKR - New York City) and Silver Lake Partners (Menlo Park, CA) acquired Agilent Technologies’ (Palo Alto, CA) Semiconductor Products Group (SPG) for $2.66 billion. Agilent SPG supplies advanced semiconductor components, modules, and subsystems for consumer and commercial electronics applications. KKR and Silver Lake were equal partners in the transaction, which is to be completed by Oct. 31, the end of Agilent’s fiscal year.

Component suppliers ASIP (Somerset, NJ) and T-Networks (Allentown, PA) have merged to create Apogee Photonics. The companies say the combination leverages ASIP’s Asymmetric TwinGuide (ATG) technology and T-Networks’ electro-absorption modulation expertise to create a broad range of 10-Gbit/sec components. Their combined product lines of 10-Gbit/sec InP lasers span applications ranging from 300-m multimode 10GBase-LRM transceivers to DWDM long-haul devices.

As part of a multimillion-dollar turnkey contract with Transworld Associates (TWA)-a joint venture between Orascom Telecom (Cairo) and Saif Group (Islamabad, Pakistan)-Tyco Telecommunications (Morristown, NJ) began construction of the TWA-1 undersea fiber-optic cable network. With direct cable landings in Karachi, Pakistan, and Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, the network is being developed by TWA under license from the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (Islamabad). Also, Tyco signed a multimillion-dollar turnkey contract with Antilles Crossing International (St. Lucia) for the construction of an undersea fiber-optic cable network called the Antilles Crossing Undersea Fiber-Optic Cable System.

Optical-switch vendors Continuum Photonics (Billerica, MA) and Polatis (Cambridge, UK) have merged. The combined companies will offer switching products for the test and measurement, defense, video, network test and monitoring, and transport markets. The new company will retain offices and manufacturing facilities in the United States and United Kingdom. The name of the new company had not been released at press time.

Regional telecommunications provider SDN Communications (Sioux Falls, SD) selected the ECI Telecom (Petah Tikva, Israel) ST200 multiservice edge routers to deliver IP/MPLS network services. The ST200 product line became part of ECI’s product offering following its acquisition of Laurel Networks in June. Laurel now operates as ECI’s Data Networking division.

To expand its cellular network, NII Holdings (Reston, VA), a subsidiary of Nextel Mexico (Mexico City), is employing the fSONA (McLean, VA) SONAbeam 1250-M optical wireless platform in conjunction with the ADC (Minneapolis) Digivance Long-Range Coverage Solution. The installation provides coverage to the Tres Vidas resort and golf course in Acapulco.

Telecom Italia (Milan, Italy) bought the Tiscali International Network (Sardinia, Italy) fiber-optic network for a total consideration of 8 million. The fiber-optic network spans 15,000 km and covers 12 European countries. The transaction did not include disposal of Tiscali’s IP and VoIP international and national networks.

Marconi (Coventry, UK) selected the World Wide Packets (Spokane Valley, WA) LightningEdge platform for connection to its IMPACT SoftSwitch XCD5000. The partnership creates a global referral program in which World Wide Packets is certified to work in conjunction with Marconi’s SoftSwitch to deliver derived voice services.

For use in its telecom laboratory in support of various IT programs, the University of Evry Val d’Essonne (Paris) selected the Nayna Networks (San Jose) ExpressSTREAM line of advanced fiber-optic transmission products.

Anritsu (Yokohama, Japan) signed a definitive agreement with NetTest (Copenhagen, Denmark), provider of network monitoring systems and field-use communications test products, and Axcel (Copenhagen), a Danish investment company, to acquire 100% of NetTest’s outstanding shares. The company had been owned by Axcel since 2002, when NetTest was acquired from GN Great Nordic (Copenhagen). Since that acquisition, NetTest shifted from an all-optical strategy to one of network performance.

China NetCom Shandong (Shandong) deployed the Luminous Networks (Cupertino, CA) PacketWave resilient packet ring (RPR) and pseudo-wire-based MPLS platforms in the cities of Quingdao and Yanzhou. The operator says it will use the company’s PacketWave E500 series and M-series packet ring access devices and switching platforms to restructure its SDH network to meet growing TDM demand, while enabling virtual private line and virtual private LAN Ethernet services.

For deployment in its Quidway S6500 line of switches, Huawei-3Com (Hangzhou, China) selected Passave (Santa Clara, CA) EPON chips. Huawei-3Com says the switches are designed to enable significantly lower costs for providing EPON-based FTTH broadband services, thereby contributing to the rapid expansion of fiber-based broadband growth in China.

LG Electronics (Seoul, South Korea) and Nortel Networks (Ottawa, Ontario) formed a joint venture, tentatively named LG-Nortel, to offer telecom and networking platforms in the wireline, optical, wireless, and enterprise areas for South Korean and global customers. Nortel will own 50% plus one share in the joint venture, in exchange for contributing its South Korean distribution and services business, and pay $145 million and other non-monetary consideration.

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