In Brief

Corvis-Algety SA, the French subsidiary of optical network provider Corvis Corp, is planning to reorganise, involving 170 possible staff cuts in Lannion.

It says it must take these steps to "protect the long-term interests of Corvis Group employees".

For Q1/2002 Europe's largest telco, Deutsche Telekom AG, reported revenues of €12.8bn (up 15% on a year ago) but a loss of €1.8bn (almost five times that of a year ago).

On top of debts of 67bn, DT expects a record loss of €5.5bn in 2002, and further losses in 2003 and 2004. DT plans to save more than €10bn through voluntary redundancies by 2004 of 30,000 staff (a net 22,000, after new hires of 8000: 8% of its 256,000 workforce).

In May BT's corporate IT services division BT Ignite said it was cutting 2,200 jobs as part of an existing restructuring.

BT Ignite is also looking to create about 1,200 jobs as it refocus from building its network to attracting and retaining more customers.

Linear optical amplifier (LOA) developer Genoa Corp is cutting its staff by about 20%. Also, Rick Gold, president and CEO since 1998, has been replaced by senior vp of operations Fariba Danesh as acting CEO.

The move reflects a shift from early-stage R&D to customer-oriented product engineering, says senior vp, sales and marketing Jim Witham. "Genoa is committed to focusing resources on working closely with customer engineers to optimise the use of the LOA in their new products." First production shipments were in February.

Shareholders of Ciena Corp and ONI Systems Corp have approved their merger. ONI's chief operating officer Rusty Cumpston will lead the new group, while its CEO Hugh Martin will leave once the merger is stabilised.

However, after ONI lost USD35.9m on its Q1/2002 sales of USD21m, combined sales for the quarter to end-July could be down (instead of "flat to down") on Ciena's stand-alone previous-quarter sales of USD87.1m.

Ciena is closing its metro switching HQ in Fremont, CA, USA (acquired with Cyras Systems last March) and will combine metro transport and switching in a new Metro Products Group at ONI's HQ in South San Jose, CA, USA. After Ciena had already dismissed 30% of its staff, about 225 have been made redundant (145 from ONI Systems and 80 from Ciena). Also, a further 110 will follow this quarter, reducing the combined workforce by 11% to 2,600.

The sale of KPNQwest is complicated by each national unit being a separate business entity. For example, the Belgian, German and Swedish units have filed for bankruptcy, but it is not seeking receivership in Portugal, Italy, Finland and a few other divisions in Central Europe.

Ireland's eTel is interested in buying the profitable Central European business. KPNQwest is also said to be close to selling its East European network (part of Global TeleSystems) for USD50m.

Atrica Inc has teamed with FlexLight Networks to deliver the first Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) solution for the last mile

Telia's International Carrier unit has gained market share in Sweden after taking over five to six of KPNQwest's large clients in Sweden, says Telia's Magnus Nerell.

On 23 May the UK's COLT Telecom Group PLC agreed to provide back-up ATM/Frame Relay and Managed Broadband Services to KPN Telecom's corporate clients in Europe who might experience continuity problems caused by the bankruptcy of KPNQwest.

KPN has already placed an order for the supply of 17 STM-1 backbone connections for its international telephone and data traffic. COLT says that it had this European network up and running within 36 hours.

A joint team will migrate clients on request to COLT's own pan-European network. "We look forward to further intensifying our co-operation", says Richard Oosterom, managing director COLT, Benelux.

On 31 May Level 3 agreed to provide services in Europe to subsidiaries of KPN Telecom, including Internet access in both the Netherlands and Belgium. Level 3's two-ring network in Europe spans 3,600 route miles. KPN has purchased IP-VPN services from Infonet Services.

Lender banks want an investigation into "major discrepancies" in KPNQwest's revenues and the amount owed by KPN Telecom and Qwest.

Also, a committee of 13 bondholders, who claim to hold over 25% of outstanding bonds and are facing losses of €1.6bn, are preparing similar calls.

KPNQwest's management only gave a profit warning in April, just two months after it forecast 60% sales growth in 2002 to €1.3-1.4bn and pre-tax profits of €175-200m, and also shortly after the bank loan to acquire Global TeleSystems.

Lawsuits from shareholders against KPN Telecom and Qwest will focus on:
Atrica Inc has teamed with FlexLight Networks to deliver the first Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) solution for the last mile

Dublin-based laser supplier Eblana Photonics has new funding from ACT Venture Capital and Enterprise Ireland, bringing total investment to €3.6m in just over one year.

"We will begin moving our products from development into manufacturing," says CEO James O'Gorman. "Eblana Photonics will grow its core team over the next six months with a focus on the recruitment of engineering, product development and marketing staff".

At the end of May Swedish metro equipment start-up Dynarc filed for bankruptcy. Last October it ran out of cash and laid off all but 30 staff. At its USD55.4m last round of funding in February 2000, Dynarc was valued at over USD600m. Equipment orders incluided a USD18m from service provider Song Networks Holding AB.

Atrica Inc has teamed with FlexLight Networks to deliver the first Gigabit Passive Optical Networking (GPON) solution for the last mile

Teem Photonics of Grenoble, France is shipping its Metro erbium-doped waveguide amplifier (EDWA) series - an optical amplifier similar to a micro EDFA on a chip, but smaller and more cost-effective. The EDWAs comprise full-function gain modules with uncooled pumps and electronic options in an 81x35x12mm 16-pin standard-form-factor package.

Three C-band versions are available:

  • Metro EDWA-SC, as a single channel booster or pre-amp;
  • Metro EDWA-NB, to amplify adjacent 4-8 channels in metro DWDM;
  • Metro EDWA-DWDM, a >15dBm unit for amplifying multiple channels in a metro ring or spans.

Iamba Networks Inc - a provider of next-generation multi-service optical access solutions - has an agreement for Flextronics to manufacture its iAxelent's Service Boards and Optical Network Terminators.

IMS Connector Systems GmbH of Germany has founded its eighth international subsidiary, IMS Connector Systems France in Nantes. Former area sales manager Jean-Philippe Berges is managing director.

Also, IMS has appointed: ACAL NV of Zaventem as distributor for Belgium and Luxembourg; Precimation AG in Brügg for Switzerland and Liechtenstein; and EC Partner AS in Oslo for Norway.

European distributors are sought by Accelink Technologies Co Ltd ( Accelink is a spin-off from the 25-year-old Passive Device division of the China's Wuhan Research Institute, which makes high-performance fibre components, integrated optical sub-systems, and test and measurement equipment for both long-haul and metro area networks.

Belgian network integration and security specialist Telindus and Cisco Systems have agreed with Belgian National Research Network (BELNET) to build a metro area network called FedMAN for the Belgian Federal Government by September.

It will provide broadband connection at 155Mbit/s to 15 buildings in Brussels for up to 60,000 users for e-government and educational applications and services. BELNET also has several connections to foreign network nodes such as Internet2, Canarie, Géant, etc.

Level 3 Communications Inc has a contract to supply Holland's SURFnet - which connects universities, colleges, research centres, academic hospitals and scientific libraries - with broadband communications services. This includes dedicated Internet access in Amsterdam and wavelength services between Europe and North America. Level 3 has also established a dedicated customer support organisation to assist customers concerned with potential disruptions in service in Europe.

KPN Telecom - which has over 25m customers in Benelux and Germany - has contracted Ericsson to supply Ethernet equipment for its Fiber-To-The-Home pilots, including its access network and equipment at end-users' homes. KPN will start the pilots this year. Initial speed will be 10Mbit/s, but in a later stage connections of 100Mbit/s or even 1Gbit/s will be delivered to the consumer.

Alcatel is to deploy a transmission network - based on its 2.5Gbit/s SDH multi-service node systems - for Televorgu AS, a provider of broadband infrastructure and services in Estonia, which has an 1100km fibre backbone linking 26 different sites in major cities nationwide. Deployment will enable expansion from voice to broadband multimedia services to both business and residential users.

Nortel Networks and France Telecom Group's global IP and data service provider Equant have strengthened their relationship formed in April by agreeing to work on delivering an expanded portfolio of solutions for next-generation telephony and secure IP VPNs to global customers.

France's second largest operator Telecom Developpement, which uses Ciena's CoreStream optical transport system for its long-haul network, has selected Ciena's CoreDirector for intelligent optical switching in Paris. A further deployment is scheduled for Lyon in 2003, allowing new services such as ADSL and UMTS to be introduced sooner.

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