Industry Update

Dec. 1, 2001

hot off the press

Metromedia Fiber Network Inc. (MFN-New York City), a provider of digital communications infrastructure solutions, announced that Microsoft Corp.'s (Seattle) MSN network of Internet services is occupying 30% of the collocation space in MFN's Internet Service Exchange (ISX) facility in Seattle. MSN also has collocation space in MFN's San Jose, CA, ISX; uses MFN's Global IP Network; and leases MFN's metropolitan dark fiber. MSN also has an agreement for onsite support of Microsoft equipment located at MFN's data centers. Separately, MFN will provide Archipelago (Chicago), an electronic communications network, with high-bandwidth metro-area optical Internet infrastructure and collocation services. Under the 10-year agreement, Archipelago will use the private optical network to connect its New York and Chicago facilities in a real-time disaster recovery system. MFN's collocation facilities will allow Archipelago to eliminate local-loop charges associated with connecting to multiple telecommunications service providers.

north america

Agere Systems, Agilent Technologies, Alcatel Optronics, Ericsson Microelectronics, ExceLight Communications, JDS Uniphase, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, and OpNext have instituted a multisource agreement for 40-Gbit/sec transponder modules. The transponders will feature clock and data recovery and a serializer/deserializer supporting 16 electrical, parallel, input, and output channels at 2.5 Gbits/sec. The companies expect to agree on a common standard for these transponders in the near future, with an eye toward marketing these devices in the 2003-05 time frame. The agreement also will enable a common design platform for very-short-reach, short-reach, intermediate-reach, and long-reach devices.

Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (AFC-Petaluma, CA), a provider of multiservice broadband solutions, has acquired 50 new independent operating company (IOC) customers since January 2001, increasing its IOC customer base to more than 750 carriers. To date, AFC's independent telco customers have deployed nearly 16,000 AccessMAX Integrated Multiservice Access Platforms, which have a serving capacity of more than 20 million access lines.

CityNet Telecommunications (Silver Spring, MD), a provider of "last mile" broadband infrastructure, completed its dark fiber all-optical network, bridging the last mile in Albuquerque, NM. Using its Sewer Access Module (SAM) robot, CityNet installed more than 4 mi of conduit and fiber-optic cable, manufactured by Alcatel (Paris), in the building basements in Albuquerque's central business district. CityNet also launched a plan with the city of Dallas to deploy a high-speed fiber-optic network through the city's sewer system, resulting in fiber-optic broadband services for Dallas businesses and residents.

Con Edison Communications Inc. (CEC-New York City), a provider of fiber-optic network services, has signed an agreement with Rudin Management Co. (New York City), a privately held real estate developer, that will enable Con Edison to provide "last mile" fiber-optic connectivity to multitenant commercial properties owned or managed by Rudin. CEC's fiber-optic network will connect telecommunications and Internet service providers to commercial properties throughout the five boroughs of New York City as well as Westchester County.

Agility Communications Inc. (Santa Barbara, CA), a provider of widely tunable lasers for the metro, switching, and long-haul markets, has received $83 million in its third round of venture funding, led by General Motors Investment Management Corp. (New York City). To date, Agility has received nearly $170 million.

Galazar Networks Inc. (Ottawa, On tario), a communications equipment company specializing in the development of in telligent optical-networking systems for carriers and service providers, announced the completion of an $11.2 million CDN financing round led by Skypoint Capital Corp. (Ottawa).

Global Crossing Ltd. (Beverly Hills, CA) and Asia Global Crossing (Hong Kong) are in preliminary discussions to merge, citing continuing consolidation in the telecommunications industry as motivation for their decision. Global Crossing also announced reorganization of its senior management, including several new appointments. In addition, Global Crossing settled all outstanding claims with Tycom (Morristown, NJ) related to the construction and operation of Global Crossing's Atlantic Crossing-1 and South American Cros sing fiber-optic cable systems.

Gould Fiber Optics (Millersville, MD), a provider of passive fiber-optic components and manufacturer of integrated optical products, announced a strategic partnership with Seikoh Giken (Matsudo-city, China), a manufacturer of optical connectors and interconnects for the fiber-optic industry. The two companies agreed to jointly research optical interconnects at both the fiber interconnect and the optical chip interconnect and market optical components to the telecommunications and cable TV industries.

DIRECTV Broadband Inc. (El Segundo, CA) a subsidiary of the Hughes Electronics Corp. (El Segundo, CA), is deploying Juniper Networks' (Sunnyvale, CA) M-series Internet backbone routers throughout its North American access network. The M-series routers use a combination of Internet Processor II ASIC silicon and JUNOS software. By enhancing the backbone network's speed and providing scalability to support up to OC-192c/STM-64 speeds, DIRECTV Broadband can offer video and voice services.

LightConnect Inc. (Newark, CA), a supplier of MEMS-based components for the optical-networking market, announced that its variable optical attenuator (VOA) series 1000 and 2000, based on the company's diffractive MEMS technology, have passed reliability tests and met environmental conditions according to Telcordia GR-1221 and GR-1209 guidelines. The company claims their products are the first MEMS-based VOAs to pass Telcordia's testing program.

LighTrade Inc. (Washington, DC), a provider of neutral, fully automated bandwidth pooling points, and Sigma Networks (San Jose, CA), a provider of metro interconnect services, announced a multiyear interconnection agreement, whereby Sigma Networks will interconnect and offer its services at LighTrade pooling points in the Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, DC, metro areas. LighTrade pooling point customers in these three locations will have access to Sigma Networks' metro SONET services.

Metro-Optix (Santa Clara, CA, and Allen, TX), a telecommunications network equipment provider, closed a third round of financing of approximately $54 million through private placement of newly authorized Series C preferred stock. Metro-Optix will use the new investments to expand its product manufacturing plant and to enlarge customer support and sales organizations.

Nortel Networks (Ontario, Canada) and Novera Optics Inc. (San Jose, CA) have successfully conducted interoperability testing of two key components that form a dynamic gain equalizer (DGE). The tests combined the separately available Nortel gain tilt channel monitor (GTCM) and the Novera Optics DGEP dynamic gain equalization processor to automatically balance the power spectrum of DWDM channels boosted by optical amplifiers.

Sempra Fiber Links (San Diego), a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (San Diego), announced the first installation of its proprietary technology that allows fiber-optic cable in live natural gas distribution lines. The new fiber line has been installed in a portion of the service territory of Frontier Energy, a natural gas distribution utility in North Carolina. The newly installed fiber-optic line covers about 1 mi and serves as a demonstration site. Sempra Fiber Links is marketing the process to gas utility companies across North America.

Coriolis Networks Inc. (Boxborough, MA), a provider of metro optical-networking solutions, has secured $32 million in the first portion of its third round of funding, bringing its total to $74 million. Coriolis plans to use this investment to support global operations and continue to enhance its OptiFlow Network, which enables carriers to aggregate and deliver Gigabit Ethernet, TDM, and other data services from a single network with end-to-end provisioning. The company also opened sales and customer service operations in London to provide support to European carriers.

Symmetricom Inc. (San Jose, CA) is supporting two new international customers with the company's network synchronization products. Globe Telecom, a full-service telecommunications provider in the Philippines, selected Symmetricom's TimeSource 3600-a standalone primary reference source (PRS)-the DCD-Cs Cesium Primary Reference Source, and the DCD-519, a third-generation synchronization and timing distribution system that provides clock references throughout a network. Powercor Australia, an electricity distributor and provider of network infrastructure in Victoria, Australia, will use Symmetricom's TimeSource TS3100 PRS and DCD-521/C synchronization and timing distribution system to sup port the deployment of Nortel Networks' (Ontario, Canada) OPTera Metro 4000 Multiservice Platform.

CyOptics Inc. (Waltham, MA), a developer of indium phosphide-based active optical components, and Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Camarillo, CA) announced interoperability of their 10-Gbit/sec optical and electronic components. The CyOptics 10-Gbit/sec electro-absorption modulator (EAM) is targeted to replace the traditional lithium niobate modulators in metro and long-reach applications. The Vitesse VSC7991 is a single-chip 10-Gbit/sec EAM driver with bandwidth sufficient to accommodate forward error correction.

Net2000 Communications Inc. (Herndon, VA), a provider of broadband services, and Global Crossing Ltd. (Beverly Hills, CA) have entered into a multiyear nonexclusive agreement in which Global Crossing will provide long-distance voice, Internet, and private-line data services to Net2000 outside the company's Northeast U.S. and mid-Atlantic networks. Services are available to Net2000's business customers who purchase local telephone service.

Yipes Communications Inc. (San Francisco), a provider of scalable bandwidth, announced that its gigabit optical networks are connecting Calpine Corp.'s (San Jose, CA) three Houston offices to each other and to the Internet at speeds up to 200 Mbits/sec. Calpine has also used Yipes's instantly scalable networks to increase bandwidth to 1 Gbit/sec for data restore and disaster recovery operations.

Global Photon Systems Inc. (San Diego) has launched operations on its Global West Network. The undersea network, which extends beyond 1,000 km, connects California's major coastal cities from San Francisco to San Diego and has a capacity of 16 Tbits/sec. The company partnered with Alcatel (Paris) for network design, including interconnection with the international landings of the principal undersea cable networks linking the United States to the Asia-Pacific region. Alcatel also supplied SONET/SDH and DWDM equipment. The network employs a 48-fiber subsea cable over continuous unrepeatered distances of up to 250 km.


CompleTel (Paris) plans to launch its first intercity LAN-to-LAN data service, interconnecting local fiber networks in 13 cities in France and Germany. The new service will provide 10-Mbit/sec to 1-Gbit/sec transmission of data over Ethernet, organized in a virtual LAN network and using Riverstone Network (Santa Clara, CA) routers.

Alcatel (Paris), a provider of intelligent optical networking, has achieved 1.6-Tbit/sec capacity over 321 km in an unrepeatered optical submarine transmission using cascaded Raman amplification. Alcatel also sent 160 wavelengths over this unrepeatered distance.

Burleigh Instruments (Harpenden, UK) has changed its name to Scientifica Ltd. as a result of an increased portfolio of products the company is now able to offer to UK customers for photonics and life science re search applications.

Corvis Corp. (Columbia, MD), a provider of intelligent optical-networking equipment, announced that France Telecom (Paris) will field-test Corvis's optical-networking products, including the CorWave LR, along an 800-km terrestrial link using fiber installed in France Telecom's network.

Societa Interbancaria per I'Automa zione (SIA-Milan), an Italian financial services and network provider, announced a five-year, $36-million partnership with Global Crossing (Beverly Hills, CA), under which SIA will provide access to its IP-based network infrastructure to Global Crossing for the delivery of SWIFT financial services to the Italian financial community. SIA will remain the provider of Global Crossing-SWIFT services to Italian financial institutions within Italy. Outside of Italy, SIA will deploy managed network services on Global Crossing's global fiber-optic infrastructure to Europe, North America, Asia, and Latin America.

RedIRIS (Spain), the national academic and research network for research and education facilities in Spain, has selected Juniper Networks' (Sunnyvale, CA) M-series routers for the deployment of the first phase of a high-speed multiservice IP network. The initial phase of the rollout includes deployment of Juniper Networks' M20 and M40 Internet backbone routers in eight cities throughout Spain. The major areas will be connected with OC-48c/STM-16 links.

Shell Information Technology International BV (London) and Cable & Wireless (London), a global telecommunications group, announced a three-year, $250-million strategic relationship enabling the Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies (Shell) to consolidate a series of telecom arrangements under a single supplier network to improve its global telecommunications. Cable & Wireless's global data and IP-based infrastructure will provide Shell with a secure, flexible platform, including voice, data, and Internet services at an international and national level, leveraging Shell's data centers in Houston, the Hague, and Kuala Lumpur, as well as third-party management services.

Utfors Bredband AB (Stockholm, Sweden), a supplier of broadband-based communications services in the Nordic market, selected Terabeam Corp.'s (Seattle) Fiberless Optics equipment and services. Terabeam's equipment extends Utfors's fiber-optic network to areas not served by fiber-optic cables. Terabeam monitors and maintains the Utfors free-space-optic links from its network operation center in Seattle. The implementation is Terabeam's first with an international carrier.

The Irish government delivered a grant aid package to Volex Ltd. (Castlebar, Ireland), a subsidiary of Volex Group plc (England), to assist it in the funding of a fiber-optic development center in Castlebar. The development center will provide support to individual business units and regions of the company for the research and development of optical-fiber products and processes while delivering automated production systems and equipment for fiber-optic cable assemblies and components.

Melles Griot (Ely, Cambridgeshire, UK), a manufacturer of automated manufacturing systems for the fiber-optic telecommunications industry, has signed a contract worth more than $500,000 to provide an automated, ribbon-fiber, pigtailing workstation to a photonics component manufacturer. The custom system is designed around multiple units of the NanoMax six-axis nanopositioning stage and uses Melles Griot's Invaritar telecentric machine-vision optics in combination with optical distance-measuring software to pre-align components.

Lycos Europe (London), a European Internet portal, and mediaWays (Guetersloh, Germany) have signed a three-year, multimillion euro agreement to use Ebone's (London) IP and broadband network. Ebone will be subcontractor to mediaWays GmbH, responsible for managing the agreement, and will provide broadband and IP connectivity between Paris, Guetersloh, and Stockholm, as well as a city enterprise in Paris.

Dimension Data Holdings plc (London), a network and solutions provider, completed a fiber-optic-network solution, utilizing IP telephony and videoconferencing solutions from Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA) for Pennsylvania's Chester County Intermediate Unit. The 255-mi fiber network connects school districts and government offices, providing videoconferencing, distance learning, and online coursework.

Philips Optics (Netherlands) has restructured to become a wholly owned subsidiary within Royal Philips Electronics, operating under the name Anteryon. The company will continue to focus on optical interface technology with a current portfolio that includes aspheric lenses, fiber-optic collimators, glass master substrates, fused-fiber lenses, and other glass and ceramic components.


Asia Global Crossing (Hong Kong) and DACOM Crossing (Seoul) completed the northern ring of East Asia Crossing by landing and lighting the East Asia Crossing network in Korea. East Asia Crossing connects Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan. Singapore will be connected in the fourth quarter, Malaysia and the Philippines in early 2002, and China as regulations permit. DACOM Crossing has already obtained a network service-provider license that allows it to own and operate telecommunications infrastructure facilities in Korea. Separately, Asia Global Crossing has signed an agreement with China Netcom Corp. (CNC-Beijing), whereby CNC will purchase four 2.5-Gbit/sec wavelengths from Asia Global Crossing connecting Hong Kong and Los Angeles, so CNC can bolster its international infrastructure, serve enterprises in China, and prepare for increased traffic expected for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Japan Telecom (Tokyo) and Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) have reached a multimillion-dollar contract for commercial deployment of an all-optical switch in the Japanese communications network. Japan Telecom will deploy Lucent's WaveStar LambdaRouter, which supports the Automatic Switched Transport Network utilizing Generalized MPLS, in a high-speed optical network that connects major metropolitan areas across Japan. The companies expect installation to be completed in the first quarter of the next fiscal year.

ACCA Networks (Tokyo) has chosen Nortel Networks' (Brampton, Ontario) DWDM equipment for its metro and relay networks, enabling expansion of its 8-Mbit/sec DSL service in the cities of Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa. Nortel Networks' metropolitan optical equipment, including the OPTera Metro 5200 and 3500 multiservice platforms, enabled ACCA Networks to expand its transmission capacity in the main business areas.

Samsung Electronics (Tokyo) and TranSwitch Corp. (Shelton, CT) have entered into a strategic agreement that identifies TranSwitch as a preferred supplier and a strategic partner of the Samsung Network Broadband Div. for the development of next-generation networking equipment.

Juniper Networks Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA), a provider of next-generation IP infrastructure systems, will deliver its M-series Internet routers to Fusion Communications Corp. (Tokyo), a service provider, for its IP network. Fusion's IP network connects Osaka to Shinjuku, Tokyo, at a line rate of 2.5 Gbits/sec (OC-48c/STM-16), after which it connects to another access point in Otemachi.

Philippines Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT-Manila, Philippines) plans to deploy a high-performance, DWDM metropolitan optical solution from Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario). At the core of the PLDT solution is Nortel Networks' OPTera Metro 5200 Optical Line System. PLDT also plans to establish a central tandem office in the municipality of Pasig for high-speed interconnection to all metro switching centers and add transmission capacity to local exchanges in Pasig, Garnet, and Makati.

Village Networks Inc. (Eatontown, NJ), a provider of integrated packet-over-optics networking solutions, and NeoWave Inc. (Seoul, Korea), a provider of optical Internet access solutions, announced a strategic partnership under which NeoWave will work with Village Networks' Asia-Pacific business development and sales team on market and business development as well as provide customer service and support and systems integration.

africa · middle east · austalia

Australia Japan Cable, a $500-million sub marine fiber-optic cable project developed by a group of telecommunications carriers in corporated as Australia Japan Cable (Holdings) Ltd. (Sydney, Australia), has connected the first of two landing stations on Australian shores and nears completion of all cabling covering nearly 6,500 mi. Australia Japan Cable will provide a link between Australia and Japan. Telecommunications companies and other data users will gain access to Asian and North American markets through interconnection points in Guam and Japan.