Industry Update

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA-Arlington, VA) published a new standard, Fiber-Optic Test Procedure (FTOP)-158, "Measurement of Breakaway Frictional Force in Fiber-Optic Connector Alignment Sleeves." FTOP-158 measures the breakaway frictional force between the ferrule and sleeve in fiber-optic connectors. The TIA also published a new telecom systems bulletin (TSB) 62-12, "ITM-12 Microbend Sensitivity Test Methods." The document is intended to characterize the microbend sensitivity of optical fibers, thereby guiding fiber and cable manufacturers on the design of various coatings and basic fibers as they apply to the design and performance of cable.

north america

Agere Systems (Allentown, PA), Alcatel Optronics (Paris), and Nortel Networks (Toronto) announced a multisource agreement (MSA) for compact erbium-doped fiber amplifiers (EDFAs). The MSA establishes a standard for product packaging, pin function definitions, and optical and electrical characteristics. Each of the three companies will develop and market EDFAs based on the MSA to ensure that optical systems vendors have a choice among compatible sources.

Meikle Automation (Kitchener, Ontario) announced a new platform integrating robotics into photonics components assembly. With this development, photonics manufacturers can produce multiple product configurations on a single system. Previous robotic technology was impossible to integrate into ultra-high-precision assembly, according to the company, because robots tend to generate vibration and they are only accurate to 30 times the wavelength of visible light.

Ethernet service provider Yipes Communications Inc. (San Francisco) deployed the first multigigabit-capable wavelength service for researchers at the University of Miami. Yipes uses LuxN's WavSystem platform to provision up to 2.4 Gbits/sec (OC-48) on a single wavelength, with the ability to add more wavelengths on demand. The protocol-independent Yipes implementation allows the University of Miami to carry Ethernet, ATM, or legacy TDM/SONET traffic. The wavelength service will be used for applications such as NASA weather forecasting and telemedicine. Yipes is also providing Internet access for University of Miami students. The university comprises 14 schools and colleges in South Florida. It employs more than 9,000 faculty and staff and enrolls more than 13,000 students. The campus network provides connections in each dorm room and links to more than 60 computer labs, with a gateway to national and international networks, the Internet, and Internet2. Yipes installed an OC-3 (155-Mbit/sec) optical connection between the main campus computing center and Internet2 point of presence at the NAP of the Americas in Miami.

Multilink Technology Corp. (Somerset, NJ), a provider of advanced semiconductor-based solutions for high-speed optical networks, began shipping 10-Gbit/sec optical transceivers for 80-km applications to several top-tier customers. Last July, Multilink announced its Subsystem Partner Solution program to leverage alliances with optical-component vendors as a means of providing related product designs to its customers.

Time Warner Telecom Inc. (Seattle) announced contracts with the University of Washington and Streaming Media Technologies Inc. (Seattle) to provide fiber and IP services. The University of Washington's Pacific Northwest gigaPoP is the point-of-presence (PoP) for the Internet2 Abilene research and testbed gigabit network. Time Warner Telecom's OC-3 network connection joins gigaPoP facilities in Seattle and Portland, OR, and extends the Internet2 PoP to both cities.

US Signal (Grand Rapids, MI) has expanded its fiber-optic network into the tier one markets of Chicago, Indianapolis, and Milwaukee. The company acquired an additional 185 metropolitan route-mi of fiber that includes 24 central offices (COs) in the three cities. US Signal's network now includes 100 COs, nearly 700 route-mi of metro rings around 14 markets, and nearly 2,000 route-mi of long-haul fiber connecting the metro rings.

EMCORE Corp. (Somerset, NJ), a provider of semiconductor technologies for global communications, and Picolight Inc. (Boulder, CO), a fiber-optic products manufacturer, announced a multisource agreement for the manufacture and supply of connectorized 12-channel parallel optical modules operating at up to 2.7 Gbits/sec per channel. The pluggable optical modules, which are electrically, optically, and mechanically compatible, are targeted to relieve data congestion in networking equipment.

Agilent Technologies Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) and Greenwich Technology Partners (White Plains, NY) announced an agreement focused on offering service providers and large enterprises independent testing and evaluation services to speed deployment of next-generation networks. Under the agreement, both companies will work together to create and deliver multivendor tests and analyses focused on the key technology architecture, interoperability, and deployment issues facing service providers building new networks.

Xanoptix (Merrimack, NH), a developer of high-speed optical connection products for data links and optical communications applications, closed its second round of funding, totaling $40 million in new equity financing. MCC Capital led the investors. The funds will be used to expand Xanoptix's series of optical-interconnect products and further develop its innovative optically enabled IC technology.

Optical Solutions Inc. (Minneapolis) announced that the borough of Kutztown, PA, will deploy its FiberPath 400 all-optical network to provide homes, businesses, and off-campus university housing units with state-of-the-art voice, video, and data services. The borough plans to offer the services through competitive prices to connect residents and university students to the broadband fiber-optic network.

NetPlane Systems (Westwood, MA) began shipping its high-availability implementation of open shortest path first, a key protocol software element used extensively within equipment throughout the Internet to examine user traffic and route it to a destination. Four OEMs have purchased the new release for equipment ranging from core routers to optical switches.

Ixia (San Jose, CA) and Tyco Electronics Corp. (Harrisburg, PA) joined forces to provide the first platform for both XAUI interoperability and performance testing. Using Tyco Electronics' XAUI backplane, Ixia provides a flexible traffic generation and analysis solution that includes support for IEEE 802.3ae, Continuous Jitter Pattern and Continuous Random Pattern. That enables developers of XAUI devices to conduct interoperability testing as well as performance testing within a single platform.

Cogent Communications (Washington, DC) entered into an agreement with American Fiber Systems Inc. (Rochester, NY) to lease dark fiber strands on AFS's Kansas City network. The dark fiber will enable Cogent to light its metropolitan rings in the Kansas City area. Cogent's national network is a multiple OC-192 fiber backbone with multiple intracity OC-48 rings with optically interfaced high-speed routers and currently serves 20 metropolitan markets.

Corvis Corp. (Columbia, MD) signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Dorsal Networks (Columbia), a privately held provider of transoceanic and regional undersea optical-networking solutions. Corvis will acquire Dorsal in a stock transaction for about 40 million shares of Corvis common stock, making the deal worth about $90 million. All outstanding options and shares of Dorsal held by employees will be exchanged for options and shares in Corvis.

Turin Networks Inc. (Petaluma, CA), a provider of intelligent multiservice optical transport platforms, received $50 million in third-round financing and expects to close on an additional $8 million. The principal new investor is Doll Capital Management. The investment provides Turin with the funding needed to continue executing on its sales and marketing plan and supports further development of the company's Traverse product line.

europe

Pan-European data communications company KPNQwest ( Brussels) signed a contract to build a fully integrated 12-site Internet Protocol IP virtual-private-network (VPN) solution across six European countries for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, headquartered at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. KLM Engineering & Maintenance will use the IP VPN. The VPN will connect KLM's main headquarters to KLM locations in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. An extranet will allow KLM to share information with key business partners. The data traffic will be carried across KPNQwest's 15-country Euro Rings fiber-optic network, which links to the Qwest network in the United States.

French cable operator NC Numéricâble is using routers supplied by Juniper Networks Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) at more than 10 points of presence in its IP network throughout France. The Juniper Networks M-series routers support Gigabit Ethernet, OC-48/STM-16 (2.5-Gbit/sec), and OC-12/STM-4 (622-Mbit/sec) interfaces without requiring hardware reconfiguration. The cable network is designed to support Internet access as well as the consumer interactive services of more than 100 national and international television channels. NC Numéricâble is a fully owned subsidiary of Groupe Canal+. Cable & Wireless (London) is also using Juniper Networks' M-series Internet routers in its global IP network. Cable & Wireless will provision new IP capabilities over both dedicated high-speed access lines and lower-speed consumer broadband services using the MPLS capabilities provided by Juniper Networks' M160 Internet routers and the JUNOS Internet software, which includes operations support-system capabilities. The network's new concurrent IP services will leverage high-speed access lines for end customers at OC-3 (155-Mbit/sec) speeds and above. The network's 'core routers' will be redeployed at the access edge.

Marconi plc (London) announced a $4.5-million contract with Mexican network operator Protel to provide DWDM technology for its nationwide network. The network will connect Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey-Laredo, TX. The contract follows a period of consultation during which Marconi worked closely with Protel to define its needs and set up the infrastructure components necessary to deploy the network.

MAZ level one GmbH (Hamburg, Germany) and Redfern Photonics (Sydney, Australia) formed a joint venture: Hamburg-based telecommunications optical-networking startup Adaptif Photonics GmbH. The Adaptif technology has not been disclosed, although it has been used in field trials at the Technical University in Hamburg-Harburg. Redfern is the parent company, or an investor, in several photonics communications companies that offer a range of vertically integrated products: application-specific optical fiber, passive and active DWDM components, integrated optical devices (planar lightwave circuits), polymer microstructured optical fiber, and terabit networking platforms for metropolitan-area networks. MAZ level one is a seed investor for technology startups, providing capital investment and a startup center.

Broadband communications services provider Utfors AB of Sweden has selected routers from Riverstone Networks (Santa Clara, CA) to support deployment of metro MPLS Ethernet services. Utfors's optical-fiber network stretches from Oslo in the west to Helsinki in the east with links to international centers in Germany and the United Kingdom. It provides services in 31 cities throughout Scandinavia. As part of a multimillion-dollar contract, Riverstone will provide RS 8600 and RS 3000 routers to deliver virtual-private-network and videoconferencing services at access rates of 2, 10, 100, and 1,000 Mbits/sec to business customers.

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Mitsubishi Electric Corp. (Amagasaki, Japan) developed a WDM optical transmission system that is transmitting 1.3 Tbits/sec over 8,400 km in laboratory tests. The WDM system transmitted 65 signals of 20 Gbits/sec each over 8,400 km on a single fiber for a total transmission speed of 1.3 Tbits/sec. To achieve this high speed, the system uses a fiber effective area management methodology to improve signal-to-noise ratios; a new symmetrically collided transmission protocol that suppresses the waveform distortion induced by fiber nonlinear effects; an optical transceiver capable of transmitting 20 Gbits/sec; and a wideband, low-noise hybrid optical repeater that features a Raman/erbium-doped fiber amplifier. The technology is being developed for transoceanic and terrestrial applications.

Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) won contracts from the Korean National Railroad (Seoul, South Korea), an administrative organization under the Ministry of Construction and Transportation, and the Seoul Metropolitan Government to provide metro optical-networking systems for their communications networks. The contract is for the purchase of 70 WaveStar ADM 16/1 systems, capable of transmitting up to 2.5 Gbits/sec on a single fiber, and their associated management systems. Installation of the WaveStar systems is expected by the end of this year. The Korean National Railroad plans to replace its existing copper-cable network with an optical network by 2005. In addition, Sichuan Telecom, a provider of telecommunications services in Sichuan province, purchased Lucent's WaveStar TDM 10G and WaveStar ADM 16/1 optical transport systems along with LambdaUnite MultiService Switch as part of a multimillion-dollar contract. Sichuan Telecom is deploying the Lucent equipment in its high-speed optical network in the Chengdu metropolitan area, which was scheduled to be completed in February. The network will support the growing voice and data traffic of the more than 90 million people in the Sichuan province. LambdaUnite MultiService Switch will serve as an intelligent central hub for the network traffic.

Optical-networking systems vendor Ciena Corp. (Linthicum, MD) and CEC-IDN Telecom Ltd. (Beijing), a provider of optical-networking solutions to Chinese operators, signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration on manufacturing and research and development activities in China. CEC-IDN was founded by China Electronics Corp. (CEC) and IDN Telecom Inc., a privately held broadband and metro-access solution company with headquarters in Fremont, CA. Ciena and CEC-IDN plan to collaborate on the joint manufacture of Ciena's CoreDirector and MetroDirector K2 optical-switching products in the People's Republic of China, focusing first on MetroDirector K2. The companies also plan to jointly establish a software R&D center in Shanghai for development of a single integrated and localized network-management system (NMS). The R&D center will focus on tailoring Ciena's ON-Center NMS software to meet the requirements of the Chinese market, including the development of a Chinese-language graphical user interface and the integration of CEC-IDN's existing access products.

Alcatel (Paris) was awarded a contract by CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd. , a major utility company in Hong Kong supplying electricity to business and residential users, to deploy a metro DWDM system. Installation of Alcatel's 1696 Metro Span DWDM system began in March. The network will be the first of its kind in Asia's utility sector, according to Alcatel.

Metrobility Optical Systems (Merrimack, NH) announced that broadband service provider Korea Thrunet Co. Ltd. (Seoul) is using its optical Ethernet access solution to provide broadband Internet services to business customers over its cable network. The network uses Metrobility's intelligent AutoTwister line cards and remotely manageable standalone units to link customers with 10-Mbit/sec fiber lines to a Gigabit Ethernet (1,000-Mbit/sec) resilient-packet-ring network. Thrunet is deploying its optical Ethernet services throughout Korea.

africa · middle east · australia

ECI telecom subsidiary Lightscape Networks (Petah Tikva , Israel) won a major contract estimated at $30-$50 million over a three-year period with Israel's PTT Bezeq to upgrade its national communications network in preparation for broadband services. Under the agreement, Bezeq will deploy more than 100 units of Lightscape's family of XDM hybrid optical platform products in its SDH/SONET network, allowing the PTT to introduce new services such as video, Fibre Channel, and DSL. The Lightscape products will be deployed in central offices nationwide from the north to the south during the year. The contract is subject to the future regulation and development of the broadband market in Israel.

Active-component developer CyOptics Inc. (Waltham, MA) announced the opening of an indium phosphide (InP) wafer fabrication facility in Yokneam, Israel. The fab offers close to 11,000 sq ft of class 100 and class 1000 cleanrooms and features an Aixtron 2400G3 MOCVD reactor capable of growing eight 3-inch wafers in a single run, which can be used to build more than 10,000 optical devices, according to the company. The fab will be used to produce InP-based modulators, lasers, and detectors packaged as standalone devices and hybrid components. CyOptics invested $10 milliion to build and equip the facility.

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