Sept. 1, 2004

The IEEE (Piscataway, NJ) has approved IEEE 802.17, "Local and Metropolitan Area Networks-Specific Requirements-Part 17: Resilient Packet Ring (RPR) Access Method & Physical Layer Specifications." The standard, aimed at high-speed packet transmission in local, metro, and regional optical-fiber ring topologies, defines a network optimized for packet transmission at rates scalable to multiple gigabits per second in resilient-ring systems. In addition to a new media access control (MAC) method, the standard includes appropriate physical layer specifications and promotes multivendor interoperability. RPR equipment already has been installed in networks worldwide; however, ratification of the standard is expected toimprove the technology's marketability.

Tropic Networks (Ottawa, Ontario), supplier of reconfigurable optical-add/drop-multiplexing (ROADM) platforms, secured $33 million in Series D financing. The round was led by Alcatel (Paris) and includes Tropic's current investors: Celtic House Venture Partners, Crescendo Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Kodiak Venture Partners, and Teachers' Private Capital, the private equity arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan. Alcatel will be represented on Tropic's board of directors. Alcatel also reached a global agreement with Tropic to market and distribute the company's products and technologies.

Bookham Technology, JDS Uniphase, Northlight Optronics, T-Networks, and TriQuint Optoelectronics announced a new multisource agreement (MSA) to standardize 1550-nm 2.5-Gbit/sec cooled transmitter optical subassemblies (TOSAs). The new standard enables several advanced capabilities. Systems developers can integrate DWDM in 2.5-Gbit/sec small-form-factor-pluggable (SFP) transceivers, which will permit network equipment and transceiver/transponder manufacturers to build a single platform serving both datacom and telecom applications, including 2.5-Gbit/sec DWDM SFPs and line cards. The new MSA also enables optical transmission up to 640 km. The cooled TOSA MSA specification is one-fifth the size of butterfly packages and promises one-quarter to one-third lower power consumption.

Verizon (New York) selected Lucent Technologies' (Murray Hill, NJ) LambdaXtreme transport DWDM system for its nationwide ultra-long-haul optical network. Terms of the three-year contract were not disclosed. Verizon, the first service provider in the United States to deploy the LambdaXtreme, began deployment of the system during the summer.

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF-Fremont, CA) has approved a new multisource agreement-implementation agreement (MSA-IA) for integratable tunable-laser assemblies, known as ITLA-MSA. The new agreement specifies a compact, standardized form factor for incorporation into a 300-pin, 3.5x4.5-in. transponder. The agreement complements a previous OIF tunable-laser MSA-IA that addresses standalone continuous wavelength lasers.

Livermore, CA-based Alloptic and OFS of Norcross, GA, entered into a strategic alliance to simplify fiber to the premises (FTTP) deployment for residential developers throughout the United States. Through the alliance, Alloptic will provide standards-based passive optical access equipment and OFS will provide optical-fiber cable, optical connectivity, and specialty photonics products to enable creation of turnkey FTTP networks.

ADVA Optical Networking (Martinsried/Munich, Germany) announced that its Fiber Service Platform (FSP) 3000 and FSP 500 have been deployed in the Trans Regional Broadband Superhighway project in the United Kingdom. Siemens (Munich) designed a network for Lancaster University using Manchester-based Your Communications' optical network in conjunction with ADVA's FSP systems. The project, funded by the Northwest Development Agency, links academic institutions in the northwest of England, including Lancaster University and Daresbury Laboratory.

Banverket Telenat, the telecommunications division of Banverket (Swedish National Rail Administration), chose ECI Telecom (Petah Tikva, Israel) to build one of the largest SDH networks in Europe. The multimillion-dollar contract for optical transmission and access equipment will help Banverket Telenat expand its data traffic capabilities.

Bharti Infotel (Bharti, New Delhi), a unit of Bharti Tele-ventures Group that provides long-distance services in India, selected the 6300 managed transport system from Tellabs (Naperville, IL) to expand its bandwidth capacity on a nationwide network. The agreement includes the Tellabs 6370 WDM node, 6350 multiservice switch platform, and 6300 network manager. The network will supply an initial 10-Gbit/sec capacity, scalable to 32 channels.

LightPointe (San Diego), developer of optical wireless products based on free-space optics technology, announced an expanded international OEM agreement with Huawei Technologies (Shenzhen, China). Huawei will sell and market LightPointe Flight products in Europe, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, and Latin America as part of Huawei's OptiX product family.

Contract manufacturer Fabrinet (San Francisco) has signed a volume supply agreement with Opnext (Eatontown, NJ) to manufacture Opnext's 2.5- and 10-Gbit/sec optical transceivers for ultra-long-haul SONET/SDH and WDM applications. Opnext has already begun transitioning the transceiver manufacturing capabilities to Fabrinet's Thailand facility. Opnext will retain manufacturing operations in Japan to support other product lines and activities.

Ciena (Linthicum, MD) announced that Zhejiang Unicom, a subsidiary of China Unicom (Beijing), has selected Ciena's CN 2600 multiservice edge aggregator to support SAN extension for its data-center disaster recovery and restoration plans. The CWDM platform provides service transparency and remote business continuity. Details of the contract were not disclosed.