update

AT&T Inc. (www.att.com) says it plans to invest approximately $500 million over the next several years in fiber network upgrades, further broadband deployment, and Internet-based technologies to bring new services to Georgia consumers. The carrier says its announcement was a direct result of the passage of House Bill 227, the Consumer Choice for Television Act, in the General Assembly and its subsequent signing by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue. HB 227 allows companies that want to provide competitive video services to get a state-issued franchise rather than negotiate with individual municipalities.

Hibernia Atlantic (www.hiberniaatlatic.com), a diverse transatlantic transport provider, has selected Huawei Technologies USA (www.huawei.com) to further upgrade its 24,520-km submarine and terrestrial network throughout the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Europe. Additionally, Hibernia has named Huawei its provider of choice for the submarine segments of its fiber-optic cable routes. Huawei says its advanced network capabilities enable Hibernia’s system to grow to 80 wavelengths at 10 Gbits, supporting SONET/SDH and LAN-PHY services.

Oplink Communications Inc. (www.oplink.com) has closed its previously announced transaction with Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. (www.furukawa.co.jp/english) to acquire Furukawa’s 58.1% stake in Optical Communication Products Inc. (www.ocp-inc.com) for $1.50 per share, payable in cash and stock of Oplink. Separately, Oplink and the Special Committee of OCP’s board of directors announced that they have reached an agreement in principle whereby Oplink would acquire the remaining 41.9% of OCP common stock not owned by Oplink for $1.65 per share in cash.

Telekenex (www.telekenex.com), provider of business-grade VoIP services, has selected an Infinera Digital Optical Network for its fast-growing metro network in the San Francisco Bay Area. Telekenex’s network connects central offices and data centers across California and nationwide, enabling them to offer a range of voice and converged voice, video, and data services to small and medium-sized businesses.

Long Lines, an independent operating company serving more than 100 communities in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota, recently signed an agreement with Wave7 Optics Inc. (www.wave7optics.com) and EMBARQ Logistics (www.embarqlogistics.com) for a new FTTP network in South Sioux City. EMBARQ Logistics is managing the project, which features Wave7 Optics’ Trident7 Optical Access Platform. With initial service debuting this month, Long Lines is deploying the Trident7 platform configured for the IEEE 802.3ah Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) GEPON standard.

Adesta LLC (www.adestagroup.com), a systems integrator and project management company, has completed the $3.6 million Five Colleges Fiber-Optic Network connecting Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst into a primary carrier hotel in Springfield, MA. These five institutions, which have been collaborating in several areas since 1965, have joined forces once again to develop this 53-mile network to increase their data network capacity, add redundant links to handle network outages, and reduce their local circuit charges for data communications services.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (www.agilent.com) has signed an agreement to acquire privately held Adaptif Photonics GmbH (www.adaptifphotonics.com), developer of advanced polarization analysis and control for the test of optical components and systems in the telecommunications, sensor, and laser markets. Financial details were not disclosed. Agilent says it plans to sell Adaptif Photonics products upon the deal closing, which, at press time, was expected to occur in June. All Adaptif employees are expected to join Agilent.

JDSU (www.jdsu.com) has announced the completion of its acquisition of Picolight, designer and manufacturer of optical pluggable transceivers. JDSU representatives say the acquisition significantly strengthens the company’s position in high-growth pluggable optics for the enterprise market and adds an established, vertically integrated manufacturing model. Picolight manufactures 850- and 1,310-nm vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), a key technology used in high-speed and short-to-medium distance optical interconnects.

Children’s Hospital Boston, one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the United States, has deployed Ciena Corp.’s (www.ciena.com) CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform to enable high-speed optical connections between multiple locations throughout its Boston campus and facilities in nearby Waltham and Needham, MA. Children’s Hospital says it selected Ciena’s CN 4200 for its multiprotocol capabilities, enabling the delivery of multiple services on-demand, including Gigabit Ethernet, Fibre Channel, and video across multiple locations.

Ericsson (www.ericsson.com) has been selected by Italian Internet provider Wind as a supplier for metro and core optical transport technology and systems integrator to support its fixed IP broadband access. The contract awarded to Ericsson includes DWDM equipment to increase the transmission capacity of 1,600 km of existing fiber cables and Broadband Remote Access Server (BRAS) technology to improve fixed broadband access performance.

Ericsson also has been selected to supportTelefónica in the building and operation of a new nationwide DWDM transport network to be rolled out in Germany over the next few years. The new network will provide wider optical transmission paths coverage. At press time, the rollout of the network had already begun.

Transmode (www.transmode.com) and channel partnerFCA (www.fca.com.pl) have announced that Exatel (www.exatel.pl), Poland’s second largest service provider, has selected the Transmode TS-Series platform for deployments in its metro network. To date, more than 70 nodes and the TNM Network Management System have been deployed under the multiyear frame contract. These deployments cover applications such as metro networking, storage area networking, and carrier managed services for large enterprises, power utilities, and banks.

PacketFront (www.packetfront.com), provider of open-access FTTH broadband networking, has signed a contract with Norway’s largest power utility company, Hafslund, to build an open-access FTTH network in Østlandet, the area in and around Oslo. In the first stage, Hafslund will offer IPTV and other broadband services to selected cooperative housing areas in Oslo. PacketFront’s partner, NetNordic (www.netnordic.no), will be responsible for the integration of Hafslund’s FTTH network, and Datametrix will be responsible for the installation of the core network.

Danish utility company Bredbaand Nord (www.bredbaandnord.dk) has launched video services over a Cisco (www.cisco.com) Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN) platform comprising a headend from Scientific Atlanta, a Cisco company, and a Cisco Ethernet FTTH (E-FTTH) network. The initial service to customers will provide up to 46 channels of video over a 100-Mbit/sec connection to the home with voice and data services to complete the triple-play offering. In addition to the E-FTTH equipment, Bredbaand Nord also is deploying Cisco’s Catalyst 4500 Series Switches in the access layer and 7600 Series Routers in the aggregation and core network.

HP (www.hp.com) has teamed with Cisco and MidtVest Bredbaand (MVB), a Denmark-based broadband provider, to build a high-speed FTTH network based on Cisco’s Ethernet-based point-to-point FTTH technology. MVB’s Content Denmark subsidiary will deliver Internet, digital TV, and voice services over the network to more than 200,000 customers. The network uses the Cisco 7600 Series Routers and Cisco Catalyst 4500 E-FTTH switch to provide fiber access to the MPLS core network. The network data center runs on the HP BladeSystem with HP StorageWorks EVA SAN arrays and Cisco MDS9216i Multilayer Fabric Switches supporting Fibre Channel over IP.

FiberZone Networks Inc. (www.fiberzone-networks.com), provider of automated fiber management equipment, has successfully completed acceptance tests conducted withBezeq (www.bezeq.co.il), Israel’s incumbent carrier. Jointly developed by FiberZone and Bezeq, the acceptance test plan included extensive assessment of FiberZone’s hardware, element management software (EMS), and system-level performance. With an emphasis on validating system reliability and stability, FiberZone and Bezeq say they performed thousands of repetitive connect/disconnect operations and measured key performance characteristics such as insertion loss, return loss, and switching time.

Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), the largest operator in Taiwan, will invest approximately $180 million to construct an island-wide fiber-optic network over a five-year period. The “Optical Era Project” aims to bring fiber-optic connections to 2.4 million subscribers by the end of 2010. The carrier says it is on track to reach 500,000 by year-end. CHT has selected Teknovus’s (www.teknovus.com) GEPON chipsets and software for the FTTH portion of the deployment. CHT also confirms that it is deploying the Alcatel-Lucent (www.alcatel-lucent.com) 7450 Ethernet Service Switch to provide scalable Ethernet/MPLS aggregation of high-bandwidth data, video, and voice services.

Fujitsu Ltd. (www.fujitsu.com) has decided to make Fujitsu Access Ltd., Fujitsu Devices Inc., and Fujitsu Wireless Systems Ltd. wholly owned subsidiaries through the exchange of shares. Fujitsu says it made the decision as part of a plan to “reinforce its structure globally from a customer-centric perspective.” Specifically, the company believes the new arrangement will create a corporate structure that is easy for customers to understand and that enhances collaboration between sales and product development.

Vietnam Post and Telecommunications (VNPT), the subhead’s dominant carrier, is using Nortel (www.nortel.com) optical equipment to double the capacity of its national optical backbone and meet accelerating demand for high-bandwidth video, mobile, and broadband services. By upgrading its 3,000-km north-south optical transmission network from 20 to 40 Gbits/sec, VNPT says it will be able to provide ADSL broadband access to more residential and enterprise customers and deliver quality teleconferencing capabilities for business customers. Nortel is supplying its Optical Long Haul 1600 with the Optical Cross Connect DX for DWDM transport, and the Optical Metro 4000 Series of multiservice SDH platforms.

Multiplex Inc. (www.multiplexinc.com), provider of vertically integrated optical subsystems and components, has announced a 30,000-sq.-ft. expansion of manufacturing space at its wholly owned subsidiary, Multiplex Optoelectronic Technologies Co. Ltd. in Dalian, China. Multiplex says this production facility will supplement its main North American manufacturing operations in New Jersey. The expanded Chinese facility will be used to increase production of its current products as well as to introduce new components and subsystems in the near future.

Sterlite Optical Technologies Ltd. (www.sterliteoptical.com) has received a contract from Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (www.mtnl.net.in) for deployment of a broadband and metro Ethernet network in Delhi and Mumbai. The network, once completed, would be capable of handling about half a million broadband connections in these cities. Sterlite was awarded this contract among competition from “global players,” it asserts. The project is valued at Rs 169 crores (~US$41 million) and would be completed during FY 2007-08 and FY 2008-09.

UTStarcom Inc. (www.utstar.com) has announced a contract with United Telecom Ltd. to deploy its GEPON fiber access equipment as the foundation for the new Statewide Area Network (SWAN) in the state of Goa in India. UTStarcom’s FTTX gear will be used to provide high-speed fiber connectivity across all state government offices in Goa for running e-governance applications. The network will be capable of delivering up to 1 Gbit/sec to each office and is expected to be extended in the near future to cover sub-districts and villages.

Alcatel-Lucent has signed contracts with a value of approximately €25 million (~US$33.4 million) with Nextgen Networks (www.nextgennetworks.com.au), a specialist provider of high-quality data services in Australia. Alcatel-Lucent will supply WDM, SDH, and Ethernet/MPLS equipment and provide network operation center (NOC) services for Nextgen Networks’ 8,500-km optical network.

An initial public offering (IPO) from chipmaker Infinera Corp. (www.infinera.com) has raised $182 million. The 14-million-share offering priced at $13 per share compared with a $10 to $12 forecast range, according to an underwriter. The offering price gives the company an initial market capitalization of about $1 billion. Infinera plans to use net proceeds from the offering to augment working capital, for general corporate purposes-including to repay credit facilities-and possible acquisitions, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Underwriters, led by Goldman Sachs, have the option to purchase an additional 2.1 million shares to cover over-allotments. Infinera plans to list its shares on Nasdaq under the symbol “INFN.”

Columbus Networks (www.columbus-networks.com) has announced the installation of a new multimillion dollar undersea fiber route that will link Colombia directly to Florida. The Colombia-Florida Sub Sea Fibre Project, dubbed CFX-1, includes more than 2,400 km of high-capacity fiber-optic cable and will have a branch into Jamaica. It seamlessly connects with the ARCOS-1 undersea ringed network forming two large sub-rings for alternate routing and redundancy, say Columbus representatives. The express link will have three new landing stations in Cartagena, Colombia; Morant Point, Jamaica; and Boca Raton, FL. Columbus Networks awarded the contract to Tyco Telecommunications (www.tycotelecom.com); Tyco says its project plan for CFX-1 is on schedule, and the new system is expected to be in service by June 2008.

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