Photera Technologies (San Diego), a newly formed corporation of which Schwartz Electro-Optics Inc. (San Diego) is a major stockholder, an nounced the purchase of the research division and 1,550-nm microlaser assets of Laser Power Corp. (San Diego). Photera plans to leverage its intellectual property and photonics expertise in areas related to the fiber-optic transmission and display of wideband information. Particular emphasis will be on frequency-agile dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) subsystems.
Level 3 Communications (Broomfield, CO) announced an agreement where-by Global Crossing Ltd. (Hamilton, Bermuda) will acquire a 50% ownership interest in the previously announced Level 3 transatlantic fiber-optic cable now under construction. The 4-fiber-pair 1.28-Tbit/sec system is scheduled for service in September. Under the co-build agreement, Level 3 and Global Crossing will each separately own and operate two of the four fiber pairs on undersea cable. Landing stations are on New York's Long Island in the United States and on the west coast of the United Kingdom. Level 3 will also acquire capacity on Global Crossing's Atlantic Crossing 1 transoceanic cable.
Silver Lake Partners (New York City), a private equity-investment firm will invest up to $200 million in Cabletron Systems (Rochester, NH) and its four new ly launched subsidiary companies-Riverstone, Enterasys Networks, GNTS, and Aprisma Management Technologies-all based in New Hampshire. The investments are intended to fuel the rapid expansion of the new companies in their target markets-service provider, e-busi ness enterprise, professional services, and infrastructure management.
The Telecommunications Industry As soc i ation (TIA-Arlington, VA) published two new standards. Fiber-Optic Test Procedure (FOTP)-43, "Output Near-Field Radiation Pattern Measurement of Optical Waveguide Fibers," TIA/EIA-455-43A. The document is a revision of EIA-455-43. The test procedure describes a working method for the measurement of near-field radiation patterns, primarily for the purpose of measuring the core diameter of multimode optical fibers. The document can also provide the gen er al output near-field distribution for many types of optical fibers. FOTP-196, "Guideline for Polariza tion-Mode Mea surement in Singlemode Fiber-Optic Components and Devices," TIA/EIA-455-196, describes the measurement of polarization-mode dispersion and differential group delay in fiber-optic devices or components.
Tektronix Inc. (Beaverton, OR) an nounced several customers for its OTS9000 optical test system, specifically designed to test DWDM systems at 10 Gbits/sec. The system resides on a new, flexible, multichannel platform that is scalable to changing technology requirements. McGrath- RenTelco (Livermore, CA), a com p any that specializes in renting communications and fiber-optic test equipment, purchased $3.2 million worth of optical-transmission test systems. General Dynamics Advanced Tech nology Systems (Greensboro, NC), a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (Falls Church, VA), purchased $7.5 million worth of the OTS9000 op tical test system. Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) purchased $3.2 million worth of optical-transmission test systems to test design verification and deployment of its 10-Gbit/sec DWDM solution.
Sprint Corp. (Kansas City, MO) selected Marconi (Pittsburgh) to provide high-performance communications solutions for the company's broadband services network. The agreement includes the deployment of Marconi's ASX-4000 broadband network switch into Sprint's network. The agreement continues the long relationship Sprint had with Reltec Corp. (Cleveland) and FORE Systems Inc. (Pittsburgh), both now part of Marconi.
Hitachi Telecom USA Inc. (Norcross, GA) announced its AMN 5192 SONET equipment has been deployed in a New York City metropolitan ring by Global Crossing Ltd. (Hamilton, Bermuda). The New York application lays claim to the first metropolitan-ring configuration at the OC-192 (10-Gbit/sec) SONET rate to interface directly to a global Inter net protocol (IP) network, including North America, South and Central America, Europe, and Asia.
EmpowerTel Networks (San Jose, CA) received a round of funding totaling $54 million. The venture funding was led by investment firm Goldman Sachs. EmpowerTel's flagship product is the Unified Services Exchange 1000, a complete carrier-grade voice-over-IP switching system that delivers public-switched telephone network (PSTN)-quality voice convergence over IP networks. The low latency system enables IP networks to achieve interoperability with existing PSTN in frastructure, allowing network service providers to retain their existing data and telecommunications investments.
LighTrade Inc. (Washington DC) signed an agreement with Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) valued at up to $50 million to create a new network using Lucent's WaveStar bandwidth manager and other advanced optical-networking products. Under the three-year contract, Lucent's NetworkCare professional services will help design and install LighTrade's net work of exchange points to facilitate the delivery of traded or auctioned bandwidth. Bandwidth trading will initially involve the active buying and selling of larger units of bandwidth capacity on specified long-distance telecommunications routes.
YAFO Networks Inc. (Hanover, MD), a startup developer and manufacturer of fiber-optic subsystem solutions an nounced its first product offering, a polarization-mode dispersion (PMD) compensator. The PMD compensator eliminates distortion of optical signals over fiber-optic networks caused by asymmetries in fiber. As data rates over fiber networks increase to 10 Gbits/sec and higher, the optical signal becomes distorted by PMD, particularly in long-haul networks. The PMD compensator alleviates this problem by adaptively canceling the PMD at the receiver. It also features a small footprint, low-power dissipation, and a solid-state design.
Tyco Electronics Corp. (Harrisburg, PA) and NTT (Tokyo) announced completion of a licensing agreement for the production of NTT's MU connector. Additionally, Tyco has released AMP fiber-optic MU bulkhead adapters and MU multimode and singlemode cable assemblies. The MU connectors comply with IEC61754-6 and JIS C5983 interface standards. Tyco and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. (Tokyo) completed a licensing agreement for the production of AMP LIGHTRAY MPX system interconnection products. Both companies will multisource this fiber-optic backplane interconnection product line.
ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Minn eapolis) announced availability of its high-powered 980-nm pump-laser diode and module, the company's first active optical-component product line. The 980-nm pump-laser products are a key active component in erbium-doped fiber amplifiers used in the DWDM systems market. The product evolved as a direct result of ADC's 1999 acquisition of Spectracom, a research and development company focused on the 980-nm pump-laser products industry.
EMCORE Corp. (Somerset, NJ) made the first appearance of the industry's first commercial 2.5-Gbit/sec 850-nm oxide vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) at the Optical Fiber Com munications conference in Baltimore, in March. EMCORE's Gigalase with Oxide Guide VCSEL is designed for application in storage area networks (SANs) and local area networks (LANs) and provides lower current thresholds and smoother slope efficiencies to meet performance requirements of existing and future Gigabit Ethernet standards.
PMC-Sierra Inc. (Burnaby, BC) announced the acquisition of Extreme Packet Devices Inc. (Kanata, ON), a privately held fabless semiconductor manufacturing startup, for shares with a value of approximately $415 million. Extreme was founded in March 1999. The acquisition extends PMC-Sierra's traffic-management capabilities for OC-48 (2.5-Gbit/ sec) and OC-192 multiservice switches. The transaction, subject to completion, will be considered for as a pooling of interests.
Metromedia Fiber Network (New York City) awarded an estimated $250-million contract to Nortel Networks (Brampton, ON) to build its optical-network backbone. MFN already uses Nortel's OPTera Metro technology for enterprise applications within U.S. cities and will deploy OPTera Long-Haul to create a network connecting major cities across the country. Nortel also announced an agreement to acquire Xros (Sunnyvale, CA), a photonic switch manufacturer, for $3.25 billion in Nortel common shares on a fully diluted basis. Xros's silicon-based micro-mirror technology will enable all-optical data switching, without the need for electronic conversion.
Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) signed agreements with three European customers to deploy products from its WaveStar 10G optical-networking product line. In the United Kingdom, BT (London) will deploy the system as part of its Global Transport Network, the country's first terabit network. Tele1 (Stockholm), the Nordic region's first CLEC, will deploy the 10G system throughout Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland. In the Nether lands, UPC also plans to increase available network speed and capacity with the Lucent products.
KPNQwest, a joint European venture of Qwest Communications International Inc. (Denver) and KPN (Amsterdam), inked a 10-year contract valued at more than $19 million with Infonet Services Corp. (El Segundo, CA), a global-communications services provider. Under the agreement, KPNQwest will supply Infonet with additional network capacity as part of Infonet's global expansion of its World Network. The purchase includes high-speed connections between Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Geneva, Gothenburg, London, Madrid, Rotterdam, Stockholm, and Zurich. It will also include two transatlantic links: New York to Frankfurt and New York to Amsterdam. KPNQwest also announced the purchase of broadband-network capacity from 360networks (Vancouver, BC), formerly Worldwide Fiber Inc. The $120-million contract will provide capacity between North America and the United Kingdom via 360network's transatlantic cable, scheduled to enter service before March 2001.
Europe's largest network of net centers to date was unveiled by iaxis (London) to address demand among Internet-related companies. Each of the 19 net centers will be equipped with 24-hour security, redundant high-capacity power supplies, and fire-suppression systems. Total investment for the centers exceeds $200 million. Services offered will include project management, installation and commissioning services, and maintenance. The iaxis IP backbone is designed to run over iaxisenroute, a DWDM-enabled network designed to yield multiterabit capacity, stretching 8,000 km across Europe and expected to double in size by the fourth quarter.
Kymata Ltd. (Livingston, Scotland) a designer and manufacturer of optoelectronic integrated circuits for the telecommunications industry, secured $72 million of funding from U.S. and European institutions. The funding brings Kymata's total financing to $89 million. The new funds will be used to increase the company's manufacturing facilities and support aggressive growth plans in product development.
Telia (Stockholm) and Williams Com munications Inc. (Tulsa, OK) signed a 20-year, $440-million deal by which both companies will provide each other with network fiber and services outside their existing regions. Under the agreement, Williams acquires dark fibers on Telia's 28,000-mi fiber-optic network throughout Europe, as well as capacity on the TAT-14 transatlantic cable system scheduled for operation by the end of 2000. In return, Telia will receive 11,000 route-mi of fiber on Willams' U.S. fiber network, connecting the European carrier to major cities in the United States. Mutual colocation space and ongoing network-maintenance services were also part of the agreement.
French telecommunications equipment supplier Alcatel (Paris) announced the purchase of Canada's Newbridge Networks Ltd. (Kanata, ON) in a $7.1-billion deal. Alcatel offered 0.81 of its U.S. stock for each Newbridge share and expects to complete the transaction by the end of the second quarter. Alcatel plans to use its new assets to compete within the U.S. market, where Newbridge will merge with Alcatel's data-carrier division. Alcatel also is partnering with Agilent Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) to develop key optical-network switching elements based on Agilent technology. The Agilent switch-matrix design enables the manufacture of large, scalable, bidirectional, and strictly nonblocking optical-switch matrices.
ADVA AG Optical Networking (Munich) made two acquisitions to strengthen its position in the enterprise and metropolitan-access optical-networking space. The company acquired Cellware Broadband GmbH (Berlin) for $22.9 million to be paid in common shares of ADVA and $392,000 in cash. ADVA also acquired Storage Area Networks Ltd. (Cambridge, UK) for approximately $83 million, also paid in common shares of ADVA. Both acquisitions are subject to various closing conditions and approval of ADVA's supervisory board and are expected to close in the second quarter.
SDL Inc. (San Jose, CA) acquir ed Queensgate Instrument Ltd. (Bracknell, UK), a privately held manufacturer of optical-network-monitoring modules for long-haul terrestrial fiber-optic transmission systems. The agreement calls for payments of up to $210 million, consisting of initial payments of $3 million in cash, $57 million in SDL stock, and contingent payments of up to $150 million based on Queensgate's pretax profits in 2000 and 2001.
Beijing Telecommunications Admin istration (BTA-Beijing) will be the first to deploy Lucent Technologies' (Murray Hill, NJ) WaveStar10G system in China. BTA will use the technology to boost the capacity of its Beijing-area network. The product boasts increases up to 40% in both space requirements and power consumption, as well as an end-to-end 10-Gbit/sec optical-networking solution. Lucent also signed a memorandum of understanding with Guangdong Province to build an electro-optic industry belt with Guangzhou as the center. Lucent will help establish research and development, set up a scholarship fund to train personnel, and market the project to attract overseas investment.
A global infrastructure and service provider, @Network (San Jose, CA), announced the development of a data and voice network consisting of data centers in major Asian metropolitan areas, linked to the United States through a transpacific IP backbone. Centered around a hub in Japan, the infrastructure enables @Network to host, collocate, and manage e-commerce Web content from U.S. vendors in a unified virtual network throughout Asia. Backed with financing from strategic Japanese, U.S., and Taiwanese investors, @Network is developing data centers in all major Asian cities, including Tokyo, Osaka, Taipei, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Seoul, linked together in one unified network.
Fiber-optic passive-component maker MP Opticom (Sunnyvale, CA) merged with China's Global (Shanghai, China) to form Global Opticom Inc. The merger enables the combined company to expand into emerging European and Asian markets. A first round of venture capital financing will enable the company to expand its share of the component space and market its products for DWDM and optical add/drop multiplexer technologies.
Africa - Middle East - Australia
Telstra Corp. Ltd. (Melbourne, Australia) and its fellow investors in the Australia-Japan submarine cable an nounced several major milestones for the project. With the signing of a shareholders agreement, Australia Japan Cable Ltd. will be incorporated to manage the investment. A letter of intent has also been issued to the preferred supplier of the cable system, NEC Corp. (Tokyo). The cable will be completed in mid-2001 with a design capacity of 640 Gbits/sec, interconnecting with other submarine cables, including APCN, SEA-ME-WE 3, China-US, and Japan-US.
Corning Cable Systems (Sydney, Australia), the cabling division of Corning Inc. (Corning, NY), will cable the Broad band Virtual Circuit Network for Rail Access Corp. (New South Wales). The first phase of the project will include installation of Corning LEAF optical fiber. The network will link RAC's nearly 300 rail stations with digital cameras to improve customer safety, control-train signaling, and carry video, data, and voice signals in Asynchronous Transfer Mode format during the 2000 Olympics. q