Dec. 1, 2004

Tyco International (Pembroke, Bermuda) agreed to sell its Tyco Global Network (TGN) to Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd.(VSNL-Mumbai, India), a telephone and Internet services provider, for $130 million. The TGN is an undersea fiber-optic telecommunications network. Divestiture of the TGN is part of the company’s strategy to sharpen its focus on core businesses, simplify operations, and improve its cost structure. Tyco will retain the telecom systems supply business, which provides maintenance and undersea-cable construction. The sale is subject to government approval in the United States, India, and other countries. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Fiber Optic Communities of the United States (FOCUS), a nonprofit organization, debuted in October at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, with the goal of educating consumers on the benefits of optical access networks. FOCUS also unveiled an event agenda designed to build awareness of the more than 200 optical-fiber communities in the United States. FOCUS’s 17 charter members include Bechtel, Capital Broadband, Corning, CTS, Hitachi, Millennium Cable & Wireless, One Economy, Telework Consortium, Telework Coalition, and White Rock Networks. Communities and organizations interested in exploring FOCUS membership can visit www.CommunitiesInFocus.org.

AboveNet’s (New York City) new Open Optics Initiative will extend its network via lit fiber links to major enterprises and buildings in each of its major markets, creating direct connectivity to top carrier hotels, data centers, and high-traffic points of presence in North America. The links will be ava ilable for readily accessible interfaces such as Fast Ethernet, DS-3, and OC-n.

SBC Communications (San Antonio, TX) announced a five-year $1.7-billion primary supplier agreement with Alcatel (Paris) to provide network equipment and video systems integration services for Project Lightspeed, the SBC initiative to drive fiber deeper into its networks and provide customers new IP-based services, including IP television, voice over IP, and ultra-fast Internet access. Alcatel’s network equipment will include core-network access, aggregation, and switching equipment. Additionally, Alcatel will work with SBC to ensure seamless video systems integration. The SBC selection of Alcatel is the first in a series of vendor selections to build-out SBC’s new IP service offerings for customers.

Meanwhile, Motorola(Schaumburg, IL) and Verizon (New York City) signed a multiyear contract for Motorola to provide video-network infrastructure and video consumer premises equipment related to Verizon’s launch of video services on the company’s new fiber to the premises network next year. Motorola will also provide project integration and operational services through its newly formed Telecom Access Solutions business. Value of the contract was not disclosed.

The Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) Council and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) updated their list of “U.S. Optical Fiber Communities,” with the total rising to 217 communities in 37 states. Prepared by Render, Vanderslice & Associates and TeleChoice, the list tracks communities nationwide that are delivering broadband services to customers through FTTH. Eighty-nine communities were added to the list, a 70% increase since the last update in May.

Communication Technology Services (CTS-Marlborough, MA) received a contract from the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) to provide fiber to the home customer premises network deployment. UTOPIA is a consortium of 14 Utah cities engaged in deploying and operating a 100% fiber-optic network to every business and household (about 170,000) within its footprint. Operating at the wholesale level, it supports open access and promotes competition in all telecom services. Under the agreement, CTS will provide installation, maintenance, and repair at the customer premises, encompassing fiber-optic cable and termination devices, premises wiring, and service-related voice, video, and data equipment.

Digicel (Kingston, Jamaica), a Caribbean mobile telecommunications provider, submitted an application for a license to build, own, and operate a submarine fiber-optic-cable carrier facility in Jamaica. The cable will run from Kingston, Jamaica, to Puerto Plate, Dominican Republic. The license would be one of two being offered by the Jamaican government.

Douglas Electric, a nonprofit electricity coop in Douglas County, OR, deployed LightningEdge Ethernet access equipment from World Wide Packets (Orlando, FL). Douglas Electric offers business class IP services to almost 20 towns and municipalities through its Douglas FastNet, which delivers bandwidth in excess of 1 Gbit/sec to the subscriber.

The Jitter Working Party of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Study Group 4 agreed in principle to the draft of ITU-T O.172 Appendix VII, “Method for Verification of Measurement Result Accuracy and Intrinsic Fixed Error.” O.172 Appendix VII establishes a procedure for verifying receiver accuracy of jitter measuring equipment and requires the production of jitter “accuracy maps,” which provide detailed indications of individual receiver accuracy performance. The draft will be submitted for ratification at the next ITU-T Study Group 4 meeting early next year.

FlexLight Networks (Atlanta), developer of GPON equipment, received formal certification to import its optical access equipment into Russia for use over the subhead’s national telecommunications network.

International network service provider PacketExchange is the first United Kingdom carrier to deploy the ADVA (Munich, Germany, and Mahwah, NJ) Fiber Service Platform (FSP) 1500 system. PacketExchange has recently deployed four FSP 1500 systems for the provision of Ethernet services across its legacy SDH network, a connectivity link over resilient submarine cable between Dublin and London that was purchased from the Irish government.

A consortium of U.K. companies and universities plans to develop a next generation free-space optics (FSO) communications platform. The project, valued at over £720,000 and dubbed “ALFONSO,” will combine advances in mid-infrared, optically pumped, vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting lasers (mid-IR OP-VECSELs) at the Institute of Photonics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, with expertise in adaptive optics at the University of Durham. Industrial partners Cablefree Solutions, Sira, Ferranti Photonics, and Starpoint Adaptive Optics will provide development engineering support and route to market. The consortium aims to develop an FSO platform providing bandwidth of up 10 Gbits/sec over a range of several kilometers.

Hitachi (Tokyo) and NEC(Tokyo) established a joint venture company, ALAXALA Networks (Kawasaki-city, Japan), which will specialize in backbone routers/switches for networks of telecommunications carriers, government/public sectors, and large corporations. ALAXALA has already launched sales efforts of its AX series backbone routers/switches.

UTStarcom (Alameda, CA) announced a pair of deals in China. China Mobile will use UTStarcom’s NetRing multiservice optical transport equipment in Tianjin in northeastern China. UTStarcom will deploy nearly 200 NetRing nodes to expand China Mobile’s MAN in that city. The systems vendor also has received initial purchase orders valued in excess of $60 million from Softbank BB, a broadband services provider in Japan, for its Gigabit Ethernet PON equipment in support of the Softbank’s new fiber to the home service, which started in October. UTStarcom expects to recognize revenue for the contract in the second half of next year.

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