Industry Update

Global network services provider FLAG Telecom (Bermuda) filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. FLAG intends to manage its business in a focused manner, conserving capital and reducing costs where appropriate. It will continue to provide core backbone capacity to traditional carriers, Internet service providers, and other content providers. FLAG has several cable systems in operation or under development, including FLAG Europe-Asia, FLAG Atlantic-1, and FLAG North Asian Loop.

north america

Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (AFC-Petaluma, CA) announced the acquisition of privately held AccessLan Communications Inc. (San Jose, CA). Under terms of the deal, AFC will acquire all outstanding shares of AccessLan stock for about $43 million and assume about $4 million in liabilities. AFC already holds a minority interest in AccessLan and is interested in the company's technology that includes ATM, Ethernet, passive optical networking, and advanced IP.

Agere Systems (Allentown, PA) inked an agreement with Pine Photonics Communications Inc. (Fremont, CA) to jointly develop a new suite of small-form-factor pluggable transceivers for optical-networking systems. The new line includes OC-3 (155-Mbit/sec) to OC-48 (2.5-Gbit/sec) SONET/SDH and Gigabit Ethernet devices and will take advantage of Agere's optical components and Pine Photonics' transceiver design and supply-chain expertise. Agere will provide exclusive marketing and sales worldwide.

AT&T (New York City) announced that NBC-TV will hub and centrally manage programs and commercials for its 13 owned and operated television stations over AT&T's optical network-a first in the broadcasting industry. The stations cover nearly 28% of U.S. viewing households. Under the three-year agreement, AT&T is installing its ACCU-Ring network access service from regional NBC hubs in New York City, Los Angeles, and Miami to 10 remote television stations.

Motorola Inc.'s (Horsham, PA) broadband communications sector announced that its OmniStar GX2 optical broadband transmission platform has been approved by Time Warner Cable (New York City) following extensive testing. The new optical transmitter requirements are part of Time Warner's strategy to increase network capacity as it continues to deploy advanced services such as video-on-demand and high-speed data.

Essex Corp. (Columbia, MD) and Fiberspace Inc. (Woodland Hills, CA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to co-market the Essex hyperfine WDM technology and Fiberspace's Gridlocker laser source, based on the company's patented optical phase-locked-loop stabilization technology. Under terms of the MOU, both companies will integrate marketing efforts for these technologies, such as making joint presentations, integrated demonstrations, and writing co-authored technical papers for publication.

Optical interconnect company Schott Optovance Inc. (Southbridge, MA) announced a technology partnership with Swiss component supplier, Huber+Suhner. Under the agreement, Schott Optovance will manufacture, distribute, and market Huber+Suhner's FiberGate connector system and have full access to the FiberGate technology. Schott Optovance will leverage these benefits of the FiberGate system with its Optical Shuffle fiber management product and future products. Schott Optovance is a strategic U.S. unit of the Schott Group (Germany).

OFS (Norcross, GA), a fiber-optic products manufacturer, and LuxN (Sunnyvale, CA), a provider of multiservice metropolitan optical-network platforms, introduced the first commercialization of 1400-nm equipment, using LuxN's 16-channel coarse WDM (CWDM) and OFS's AllWave fiber. Luminent Inc. (Chatsworth, CA), a supplier of singlemode active and passive fiber-optic components, provided eight wavelengths to LuxN's CWDM.

Xtera Communications Inc. (Allen, TX) selected Pemstar Inc. (Rochester, MN) as the outsourced manufacturing partner for the Xtera Nu-Wave DWDM system. The Nu-Wave system uses Xtera's patented Wide Reach Raman technology that allows amplification over a continuous 100-nm spectrum, supporting 240 channels of 10 Gbits/sec over 1500 km without electrical regeneration.

Touch America (Butte, MT) expects to be the first to implement Nortel Networks' (Brampton, Ontario) OPTera Connect HDX optical switches. Under the agreement, Touch America will deploy the switches at several sites within its existing fiber-optic network to enable on-demand service. In a separate agreement, Nortel will provide Surf Telecoms (London) with metro optical equipment to run an optical Ethernet network. Initial sites to be served by the network include Cardiff University, the University of Wales Swansea, Newport University, and the University of Glamorgan.

Siemens Information and Communications Networks Inc. and Communication Networks Inc. (Boca Raton, FL) finalized qualification of OMM Inc.'s (San Diego) micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) for its Optisphere MTS multihaul DWDM product line. Siemens uses OMM's Telcordia-certified two-dimensional MEMS technology in its latest optical-crossconnect product and is working to integrate the technology in its MTS transparent networking platform.

Cogent Communications (Washington, DC), a tier one optical Internet service provider, announced the connection of several universities to its 100- and 1,000-Mbit/sec Internet service. The universities include Tufts University in Medford, MA, Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA, the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and George Washington University in Washington, DC. Cogent's 17,400-mi long-haul backbone and metropolitan-network services 20 U.S. cities.

Equipe Communications Corp. (Acton, MA) received $40 million in third-round financing, bringing the company's two-year total funding to $103 million. New investor, Sequoia Capital Partners, led the financing round. In addition, Equipe formed a relationship with Ciena Corp. (Linthicum, MD) under which the companies will share technical and strategic information.

Polaris Networks (San Jose, CA), a developer of optical transport switching systems, completed $52 million in new venture funding, bringing its total to $74 million since its incorporation in June 2000. The new funding, led by Advanced Technology Ventures, will be used to fund working capital, marketing, and operational expansion.

Broadwing Inc. (Cincinnati) was selected by Bank of America as one of their primary network providers, transmitting Bank of America's mission-critical data among its top major markets across the United States. The agreement is valued at nearly $70 million over 10 years and based on Broadwing's lightwave services. This service provides Bank of America with extensive bandwidth, high-speed connectivity, and fast provisioning of new services for customers.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Standards Association (IEEE-SA-Piscataway, NJ) approved the start of work on three new fiber-optic standards for all-dielectric, self-supporting, and helically applied cables used for communications in power grids. The IEEE-SA also reaffirmed the validity of the IEEE 1138-1994 standard for "Construction of Composite Fiber-Optic Overhead Groundwire (OPGW) for Use on Electric Utility Power Lines."

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave (Research Triangle Park, NC) successfully deployed its FutureFLEX air-blown fiber cabling system at NASCAR's MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, GA. The speedway's fiber-optic-cabling backbone accommodates the frequent changes, expansions, and customized fiber routing from sporting event to sporting event required by networks transmitting video, audio and data.

Optical Solutions Inc. (Minneapolis) was awarded a contract from Nex-Tech (Lenora, KS) to overbuild the northwestern Kansas town of Osborne with a direct fiber connection extending to hundreds of homes and small businesses. Nex-Tech will deploy Optical Solutions' FiberPath 400 system, capable of delivering high-speed Internet access, hundreds of analog and digital television channels, and multiple phone lines to each subscriber. Optical Solutions was also awarded a similar contract from Wamego Telecommunications Co. Inc. (Wamego, KS) to replace existing copper networks with passive-optical-networking architecture.

FiberRide Inc. (Irvine, CA), a builder of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks in new home developments, announced a partnership with Pardee Homes (Los Angeles) to deliver all-digital, high-speed, fiber-optic broadband to Pardee's Canyon Hills master plan community in Lake Elsinore, CA. New homes within the community will have broadband access through FiberRide's FTTH network system.

NetCracker Technology (Waltham, MA) announced three new customers for its operational-support-system solutions. Sprint (Kansas City) will use the NetCracker solution to manage its network and server inventory for the company's Internet centers. Telepak Networks Inc. (Jackson, MS) and New World Network (Bermuda) will use NetCracker systems to manage their telecommunications infrastructures.

Sabeus Photonics Inc. (Chatsworth, CA), a provider of high-concept optical devices, closed its latest round of funding with more than $21 million. To date, the company has raised more than $26 million. The company also announced that it received a U.S. patent for a high-concept manufacturing technology that makes possible the cost-effective production of high-precision, wideband, in-fiber dispersion compensation filters.

TeraBurst Networks Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) announced that Cox Communications (Atlanta) successfully completed testing of the TeraBurst OMS 2200 optical switch. The tests clear the way for deployment by the California Institute of Telecommunications and Information Technology and the Center for Immersive Telecommunications for Global Exchange in San Diego.

europe

ADVA Optical Networking (Munich) announced that MetroNet (Mexico) will deploy its Fiber Service Platform metro optical networking platform for metro services. Deployment of ADVA's FSP 3000 at multiple sites in Mexico City began in January. The platform will offer a variety of high-speed data services to customers in Mexico, Guadalajara, and Monterrey. ADVA also announced the completion of qualification tests for interoperability between its FSP 2000 and Inrange Technologies' (Ramsey, NJ) 64-port and 128-port models of its FC/9000 Fibre Channel Director.

Essient Photonics (Glasgow, Scotland), a supplier of integrated III-V optoelectronic components for modulation and detection in 10- and 40-Gbit/sec systems, announced first-round funding totaling $7 million. Pond Venture Partners Ltd. (London) led the funding, which will be used by Essient to support manufacture of the company's prototype integrated components for makers of high-speed modules.

Marconi plc (London) and Telecom Italia (Rome) successfully implemented DWDM transmission over dispersion-shifted fiber, quadrupling the number of wavelengths each optical fiber can support. The introduction of this technology began several months ago on Telecom Italia's backbone link between Florence and Rome. For future planned developments, Marconi intends to double the capacity of this technique to 80 channels at 10 Gbits/sec.

Multilink Technology Corp. (Somerset, NJ) will collaborate with Innovative Processing AG (IPAG-Duisburg, Germany) to market, design, and test 40-Gbit/sec optical PIN diode receivers, electronic traveling wave amplifiers, and optoelectronic, monolithically integrated devices. Additionally, Multilink will be the exclusive channel for IPAG's line of integrated optoelectronic receivers.

KPNQwest (the Netherlands) completed its acquisition of the Ebone and Central Europe businesses of Global TeleSystems Inc. and Global TeleSystems Europe BV The acquisition consolidates KPNQwest's position as a European IP data communications provider. The new combined company will operate a 25,000-km network with connection to 60 major European cities, including 14 MANs.

Alcatel Optronics (Paris) and Multilink Technology Corp. (Somerset, NJ) formed a partnership to jointly develop next-generation transceivers. The collaboration hopes to spawn a product that integrates Alcatel's optical components with Multilink's high-speed electronic devices to deliver a cost-effective, compact DWDM transceiver solution for the core telecommunications network.

WaveCrest Communications Ltd. (London) announced the acquisition of Storm Telecommunications Ltd.'s (London) wholesale voice business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition furnishes WaveCrest with back office systems, personnel, and a pan-European switched voice network with connectivity to the Americas, Asia, and Eastern Europe.

BTexact Technologies, British Telecommunications plc's (London) advanced research and technology business, is evaluating Quantum Bridge's (Andover, MA) optical access products. In addition to evaluating Quantum Bridge's passive-optical-networking solution, BTexact is also evaluating the company's DWDM and MTU products. Quantum Bridge shipped BTexact its QB616 intelligent optical terminal, QB3000 optical access switch, and QB8000 DWDM optical edge switch.

Lumentis AB (Stockholm), a supplier of unamplified systems for metro DWDM networks, closed a second round of funding totaling $19 million from partners Deutsche Bank and Santec Corp. (Komaki, Japan). In addition, Lumentis formed a strategic alliance with Santec, a manufacturer of DWDM system components, which includes support for research, development, and production ramp-up for Lumentis.

The government of Ireland will invest 300 million euros to build 50,000 km of high-speed, fiber-optic Internet access rings around 123 of its towns and cities. The country hopes the rings, funded 90% by the Irish government and 10% by local authorities, will help vault the country out of last place in Western Europe's domestic broadband race. A national public access network is also being planned that would ultimately string together all of the fiber rings.

asia

Siemens IC Networks (Munich) claimed a world record for telecommunications by carrying live traffic almost 1,000 km over a non-regenerated 160-channel DWDM link. The link forms part of China Unicom's (Beijing) 15,000-km high-speed national transmission backbone network. The contract to build China Unicom's optical national transmission backbone was awarded to Siemens last November. The network covers 19 of China's 31 provinces.

Crosswave Communications Inc. (Tokyo) announced the launch of its Gigabit Ethernet backbone service, a point-to-point dedicated backbone service with a 1-Gbit/sec Ethernet interface. Concurrently, Crosswave will add 2.4-Gbit/sec and 9.6-Gbit/sec SONET/SDH items to its high-speed backbone service lineups. The services will initially be provided in the area between and peripheral to Crosswave data centers in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya.

SingTel (Singapore) will deploy M-series Internet routers from Juniper Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) in the SingTel IX network. The network build-out focuses on expanding global network capacity and introducing new services for corporate and wholesale users based on IP. The initial network expansion will deploy the routers throughout the SingTel IX network spanning from Singapore to the United States at speeds up to OC-48.

Guangxi Telecom (China) awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to Alcatel (Paris) to supply access, edge, and core data networking products for a new digital data network in southern China. The new multiservice, multiprotocol network, expected to be completed this year, will cover 12 main cities in the province, including the capital city of Nanning, and the key industrial centers of Liuzhou and Guilin.

Flextronics Photonics, a business unit of Flextronics (Singapore), signed an agreement with Newport Corp. (Irvine, CA) to transfer certain elements of Flextronics's optical-component manufacturing technology to Newport. In turn, Newport will develop next-generation assembly automation systems to commercialize this process technology. Flextronics Photonics also announced a joint marketing, manufacturing, and development agreement with Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. (San Diego) for its FOCUTSpak platform, a packaged component for use in parallel optical modules.

south america

AT&T Latin America Corp. (ATTL-Miami) announced that its subsidiary in Brazil extended its coverage and network capillarity into one of the country's most important industrial regions through a strategic agreement with the greater Sao Paulo area subsidiaries of Canbras Communications Corp. (Canbras Group-Montreal). By using the Canbras Group's and TVA's (Brazil) combined 6,000-km SDH optical and coaxial network, ATTL can access an estimated 700,000 potential corporate customers currently reached by these networks. ATTL will compensate the Canbras Group for capacity as customers are activated.

Electrificacion del Caroni CA (Edelca-Venezuela), a state-run Venezuelan power generation and distribution company, received presidential approval to form a joint venture and build a national fiber-optic network. President Hugo Chavez approved the building of a 2,565-km carriers' carrier network along the utility's nationwide power grid. The project is still awaiting approval of the Venezuelan congress. Edelca, which already has a 1,211-km network, plans to sell a partner as much as 45% of the joint-venture company as payment for deploying the remaining 1,354 km of fiber-optic cable.

africa · middle east · australia

Marconi plc (London) announced that Australian wholesale carrier, Amcom IP1 Pty. Ltd. (Osborne Park, Australia) chose Marconi's ultra-long-haul soliton-based technology as part of the Amcom IP1 project. Marconi's soliton-based UPLx160 equipment will be used for the Adelaid-Perth leg of the project-a new high-speed fiber-optic telecommunications link being constructed between Perth and Melbourne via Adelaid. Amcom IP1 will initially take eight wavelengths, all of which have been pre-sold to customers.

Stockholders of Iamba Technologies Inc. (Ra'anana, Israel) approved changing the company's name to Iamba Networks Inc. The company's flagship product is a multiservice optical access system for delivering optimally packaged data, voice, and video services to business, residential, and feeder applications. The company's U.S. headquarters is in Alpharetta, GA.

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