Narad becomes PhyFlex Networks, receives MEF certification

April 30, 2007
APRIL 30, 2007 -- Because the FTTxSWITCH supports fiber-to-the-node/curb/premise (FTTN/C/P) configurations, operators can begin with FTTN, quickly split and deepen nodes, add FTTC on high traffic segments, and employ FTTP anywhere it is needed in the network, say PhyFlex representatives.

APRIL 30, 2007 -- Narad Networks (search for Narad Networks), provider of FTTx equipment for hybrid fiber coax (HFC) cable systems, today announced its migration to a switched Ethernet platform and officially changed its name to PhyFlex Networks.

PhyFlex Networks also announced that the FTTxSWITCH product, the first of its FTTx (search for FTTx) family of products is the first outdoor switch to be certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum (search for MEF) as a Carrier Ethernet access network platform with both MEF 9 and MEF 14 certification over both fiber and coax.

According to the company, the new name emphasizes the inherent flexibility of the switched Ethernet platform, which distributes switched Ethernet over fiber, Ethernet, and coaxial cable. The name also reflects the company's new focus on operators' needs to increase bandwidth with networks that can quickly adapt, evolve, and expand to meet increasing end user demand. As a result, the FTTxSWITCH supports fiber-to-the-node/curb/premise (FTTN/C/P) configurations--but it does so flexibly, in combination and with the ability to migrate over time, say company representatives. This provides operators with flexibility, cost savings, and risk reduction in network rollouts. For example, an operator can begin with FTTN, quickly split and deepen nodes, add FTTC on high traffic segments, and employ FTTP anywhere it is needed in the network. In this way, capacity can be increased quickly and easily either through fiber migration or by upgrading fiber trunks from 1 Gbit/sec to 10 Gbits/sec, says PhyFlex Networks.

The new product line also facilitates the ongoing physical evolution of access networks with flexible combinations of various types of physical media. Operators can mix and match fiber, coax, and Ethernet cabling in a single switch as needed. This form of flexibility reduces network planning risk by ensuring that the network deployed today will support all applications, notes the company. Additionally, PhyFlex will open the new switches to a diversity of modem options, with new coax offerings from third parties. The company claims this "phy agnostic" approach offers operators maximum flexibility to mix and match different physical devices at any depth in the network, leveraging the existing plant while optimizing bandwidth, performance, cost, and time to market.

PhyFlex confirms that the FTTxSWITCH from PhyFlex Networks has successfully completed lab trials and is scheduled for field trial with three of the top 10 U.S. operators, including Cablevision Systems and Mediacom Communications. It is in the field test phase at Cogeco Cable and deployment planning phase at Hargray Communications. Internationally, PhyFlex says it will start three trials in the second quarter, including two in Mexico under the management of Intercable, a Mexican distributor, and one in Korea with World Multi-Net Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Kangnam Cable.

Commercial applications include 1) high-capacity, symmetric Carrier Ethernet access and high line count voice, which enables cable multiple-system operators (MSOs) to compete in the highly lucrative T1 business mid-market and 2) cell tower backhaul. The primary residential application is premium residential broadband, and the main market is in Asia Pacific where MSOs have identified a strong need for a 100-Mbit/sec broadband access to compete with mature VDSL and FTTH offerings from telecommunications competitors, say PhyFlex representatives.

"With the business services and Ethernet markets rapidly scaling and our transformation to a physically flexible, switched Ethernet platform complete, the name change could not come at a better time for us," asserts Michael Collette, CEO of PhyFlex Networks. "As a trusted industry partner, PhyFlex will continue to pioneer solutions that incorporate emerging industry standards such as Carrier Ethernet and to set the bar for cost-effective ways to reliably deliver business class commercial and residential data/voice, cellular backhaul, and wireless solutions," he notes.

PhyFlex says its new product, the FTTxSWITCH, supports Gigabit Ethernet over each of six fiber/Ethernet ports and 100-Mbit/sec Ethernet over each of four coaxial cable ports. The FTTxSWITCH can be deployed in FTTN, FTTC, and FTTP configurations. The FTTxSWITCH also supports wireless access points and standard Ethernet cabling. The PhyFlex switched Ethernet equipment for the access network greatly amplifies the broadband capacity of HFC cable systems, says the company. Switched Ethernet over fiber can deliver up to 1 Gbit/sec x 1 Gbit/sec per end user. Switched Ethernet over coaxial cable can deliver up to 100 Mbits/sec x 100 Mbits/sec per end user.

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