Industry Update

Jan. 1, 2002

TyCom Ltd. (Pembroke, Bermuda) will be the first customer for the UltraWave optical fibers produced by the Optical Fiber Solutions (OFS) business unit of Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ). TyCom will use the fiber in the Pacific North segment of the TyCom Global Network. UltraWave comes in two versions, SLA and IDF, with offsetting chromatic dispersion values and matched dispersion slopes. When used together in the same transmission path, the fiber types eliminate the dispersion effects that typically limit transmission distances. Use of the new fiber is expected to enable TyCom to support 10 Gbits/sec over 64 wavelengths per fiber. At press time, the OFS division was scheduled to be sold to Furukawa Electric Co. and CommScope Inc.

North America

E2O Communications (Calabasas, CA) has announced what it claims is a breakthrough in the quest for higher singlemode optical output power from long-wavelength VCSELs. The company has achieved continuous wave output power of 4 mW at room temperature. The spectral linewidth is less than 0.2 nm, and the side mode suppression is better than 40 dB.

Centerpoint Broadband Technologies Inc. (San Jose, CA) has completed its acquisition of Zaffire Inc., provider of DWDM systems for metropolitan and regional networks in a private-to-private, all-stock transaction. Effective immediately, Zaffire will be fully integrated into Centerpoint. Near Margalit, former chairman and chief technology officer at Zaffire, has been appointed chief technology officer of Centerpoint.

RSoft Inc. (Ossining, NY) and Network Design Tools Inc. (NDTI-Eatontown, NJ) have agreed to merge, creating a company that combines RSoft's suite of physical-layer design tools with network-layer planning and optimization tools from NDTI, a Telcordia Technologies spin-out. The new company will supply researchers, manufacturers, systems integrators, and service providers with performance, optimization, modeling, and simulation software that addresses design challenges from the component to the network level.

AirFiber Inc. (San Diego) and Alcatel (Paris) have entered into an OEM agreement to offer a comprehensive MAN system based on free-space optic technology. Per the agreement, AirFiber will incorporate its OptiMesh equipment and fully support Alcatel's OmniAccess 408 and OmniStack 5024 switches.

IPG Photonics Corp. (Oxford, MA) will supply eye-safe, high-power erbium-doped fiber amplifiers to Lightpointe (San Diego) for the latter's carrier-class free-space optical transmission equipment. The companies signed a long-term agreement for IPG's amplifier, which operates in the 1.5-micron band. Deliveries began in November. The value of the agreement was not disclosed.

Astral Point Communications Inc. (Chelmsford, MA) has selected Agere Systems' (Allentown, PA) programmable 6.8-Gbit/sec backplane transceiver chip and SONET overhead path processor for its ON 7000 integrated optical transport node. The ON 7000 combines SONET OC-192 transport with DWDM in a single platform for MAN applications, including long-haul capability advances that support regional interoffice networking.

Quantum Bridge Communications Inc. (Andover, MA) has aligned with five SAN developers to enhance customer storage solutions. Quantum Bridge aims to eliminate the cost barriers to mass market rollout of managed storage systems. The passive optical networking equipment company has reached alignment agreements with Emulex, McDATA, QLogic, and SAN Valley Systems; separately, it also joined Brocade's Fabric Threads Developer program.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) now uses Yipes Communications Inc. (San Francisco) for ultra-high-speed access to the Internet2 national backbone, which may facilitate applications such as tsunami and earthquake warnings. Yipes also connects a large server farm hosted at SGS to the National Business Center in the Department of the Interior. The USGS service includes a 250-Mbit/sec link from the agency's Reston, VA headquarters to the Internet2 access point in College Park, MD.

Broadwing Communications (Cincinnati) has entered into a multiyear agreement with Allegiance Telecom Inc. (Dallas, TX) to provide 2.5-Gbit lightwave services, connecting eight of the carrier's major metropolitan markets. The market locations were not released.

Electric power utility Hydro-Quebec (Quebec) has selected RAD Data Communications Inc.'s (Mahwah, NJ) products for use in a nationwide upgrade to its 300-site telecommunications network. The three-year agreement includes the purchase of RAD's Megaplex, Kilomux, and DXC product families for tele-protection, automation, and other applications.

AFN Communications (Tulsa, OK) has selected CIENA Corp. (Linthicum, MD) as its primary optical-networking partner. Per the agreement, CIENA will supply its CoreDirector intelligent optical core switch, CoreStream DWDM transport equipment, and MetroDirector K2 multiservice access and switching platform for AFN's dense, super-regional North American network. AFN is expected to use the equipment to support private-line and wavelength services.

Optical-networking solutions provider ADVA Optical Networking (Ramsey, NJ, and Munich) announced the successful deployment of its fiber service platform (FSP) 500 to support BellSouth Corp.'s (Atlanta) point-to-point Gigabit Ethernet service. Gigabit Ethernet is an extension of BellSouth's existing fiber-based native mode LAN interconnection (NMLI) offering.

XO Communications Inc. (Reston, VA) has selected Juniper Networks' (Sunnyvale, CA) M160 Internet backbone routers and M40 Internet access routers to complete its national OC-192 IP backbone network. The new network infrastructure will provide inter-city Internet and integrated voice and data services to customers in 63 XO markets in the United States.

Under an expanded global reseller agreement, Unisys (Blue Bell, PA) is offering Nortel Networks' (Brampton, Ontario) OPTera Metro 5000 series of metro DWDM equipment, OPTera 3500 multiservice platform, and Passport 8600 routing switch in conjunction with Unisys network convergence services. These services include assessment, architecture and design, planning and development, integrated network management, and remote network management.

Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) has deployed what it claims is the world's longest high-capacity terrestrial optical backbone in commercial service-now in operation in the North American network of Global Crossing. Spanning approximately 1,500 km, the optical backbone currently supports 200 Gbits/sec of data without optoelectronic regeneration and has the capability to support up to 560 Gbits/sec. It is based on Nortel Networks' OPTera long-haul 4000 optical line system.

OPNET Technologies Inc. (Bethesda, MD) has reached a multimillion-dollar agreement with Global Crossing Ltd. (Hamilton, Bermuda) that includes software licenses of OPNET's new service provider (SP) Guru product and professional services. Working with a systems integrator, OPNET is delivering an SP Guru-based solution designed to optimize capital expenditures and provide continuous process improvement for Global Crossing.

Sprint (Westwood, KS) has selected Tellabs' (Naperville, IL) equipment to help expand its international network into Europe and Asia and improve voice and voice-band data services quality for customers in the United States. Sprint will use Tellabs' optical-networking equipment, including the FOCUS LX transport system and the FOCUS NM2100 network-management system, to support private-line services and local access in such cities as Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Milan, Munich, Paris, Singapore, Stockholm, Sydney, and Tokyo. In the United States, Sprint will use Tellabs' VERITY 3100 echo cancellation equipment to provide a smaller footprint at reduced costs.

AXSUN Technologies Inc. (Billerica, MA) has won three commercial supply agreements, worth several million dollars and extending into 2003, to develop, qualify, and manufacturer optical components targeted at metropolitan DWDM and other telecommunications markets. The components are being packaged in cooled, hermetically sealed packages, and all are Telecordia qualified. AXSUN did not reveal the names of the customers involved, although it did say the orders were from "U.S.- and European-based companies."

The membership of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF-Fremont, CA) has approved a signaling specification for its user-network interface (UNI) 1.0. Developed by the OIF's technical committee, the specification defines the signaling protocols implemented by client and transport network equipment from different vendors to invoke services, the mechanisms used to transport signaling messages, and the auto-discovery procedures that aid signaling.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA-Arlington, VA) has published a new fiber-optic test procedure, "Return Loss of Connectorized Polarization-Maintaining Fiber or Polarization Fiber Pigtailed Devices and Cable Assemblies", TIA/EIA-455-201. The standard specifies a procedure for the measurement of the return loss of a fiber-optic interconnection on singlemode, highly linearly birefringent optical fiber. The method described in the document is the PMF/PZF equivalent of ANSI/TIA/EIA-455-107 with the return loss reported as a positive number.

All-optical processors and subsystems provider Chorum Technologies (Richardson, TX) has raised $54.7 million in private equity funding from new and existing investors, including CenterPoint Ventures, InterWest Partners, Sevin Rosen Funds, Scudder-Kemper Investments, Star Ventures, Wheatley Partners, Austin Ventures, Rho Management Trust, Crown Advisors International, Azure Capital Partners, Sycamore Ventures, Bowman Capital Management, and J&W Seligman Co. The funds will be used to build upon the company's existing family of differentiated products, expand its customer base, and ramp new products into production.

Tunable, semiconductor laser products developer Fiberspace Inc. (Woodland Hills, CA) has received $1.5 million in equipment financing from Comerica Bank's technology and life sciences division. The receipt of this funding supports Fiberspace's efforts to further develop its optical phase-locked loop (OPLL) technology for use in metro and long-haul networks.

Northstar Photonics Inc. (Minneapolis) has closed $11 million in new financing led by St. Paul Venture Capital. The funding will allow the company to complete development and commercialize its new products based on proprietary rare-earth-doped planar waveguide technologies.

Ethernet IP broadband services provider IntelliSpace (New York) has secured $70 million with the close of its oversubscribed Series B round, raising its total funding to $110 million. The additional capital will be used to help increase penetration within existing markets.

NEC Eluminant Technologies Inc. (Chantilly, VA) has secured a total of $26 million in funding, including $18 million for subsidiary Eluminant from existing investor ITOCHU Corp. Other NEC Group companies will provide the additional $8 million.

AcceLight Networks Inc. (Pittsburgh) announced $60 million in new equity and debt financing to be used primarily for strategic investment in product development, research, and expansion of the company's sales and customer efforts globally. Joining AcceLight's initial investors, Menlo Ventures and Venrock Associates, are CDIB Ventures, Granite Global Ventures, Mitsubishi Corp., NIF Ventures, Stonewood Capital management, Western Technology Investment, Whitecastle Investment, and Vertex Management.

Juniper Networks Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) has announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Pacific Broadband Communications (San Jose) in a stock transaction totaling approximately $200 million. Pacific Broadband develops standards-based cable modem termination systems that help cable operators deliver advanced IP services, including voice-over-IP, high-speed cable modem access, and DVD-quality video on demand over the last-mile cable infrastructure.

Williams Communications (Tulsa, OK), a broadband provider, has linked its nationwide long-haul fiber-optic network to more than 80 metro access points in 17 cities. The new service offering includes DS-3 through OC-48 local private lines and OC-48 optical waves, with metro Ethernet to come next year. In addition, Williams Communications has signed an agreement with Progress Telecom (St. Petersburg, FL) to provide network capacity over an OC-192 wave local loop. Williams also used Corvis Corp.'s (Columbia, MD) next-generation optical solutions to provision an OC-192 circuit from New York City to Washington, DC.

TranSwitch Corp. (Shelton, CT) has acquired privately held ONEX Communications Corp. (Bedford, MA), which develops system silicon for multiservice platforms. TranSwitch issued approximately six million shares of its common stock and paid approximately $20 million in cash. ONEX will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of TranSwitch.

PhotonEx Corp. (Maynard, MA), a developer of 40-Gbit/sec and photonic systems for long-haul and ultra-long-haul networks, has received $90 million in third-round financing, bringing its cumulative financing to $178 million. PhotonEx will use the funds to market its deployable 40-Gbit/sec long-haul transport technology through the expansion of its sales and support organizations and scaling of its development and manufacturing operations.

Proximion Fiber Optics AB (Wilmington, DE), a supplier of in-fiber intelligence to enhance the performance of optical networks, secured its second round of private financing totaling $10 million. The funds will be used to ramp up production of Proximion's integrated optical monitoring and channel monitoring product as well as expand the company's international sales organization.

The Defense Supply Center (Columbus, OH) of the Defense Logistics Agency (Fort Belvoir, VA) has awarded General Cable (Highland Heights, KY), a supplier of shipboard wire and cable to the U.S. Navy, a Qualified Products Listing for blown optical-fiber technology for military contracts. Included in the listing are General Cable's Blolite blown optical-fiber technology in singlemode fiber, multimode fiber, and seven-tube multiduct cable.

Dynegy Global Communications (Houston) completed its nationwide, optically switched, mesh network spanning more than 16,000 route-mi and linking cities across the United States. Dynegy's network can transport between 2.5 and 10 Gbits/sec and uses Tellium (Oceanport, NJ) optical switches.

Marietta FiberNet (Marietta, GA), a government-operated telecommunications service provider, has become the first carrier to deploy the OptiFlow Network solution from Coriolis Networks Inc. (Boxborough, MA), a provider of metro optical-networking solutions. Marietta FiberNet is using the OptiFlow Network to deliver optical Ethernet service to carriers, enterprises, and local government organizations in the metropolitan Atlanta area.

Agere Systems (Allentown, PA) will supply Siemens (Munich) with optical amplifiers custom-designed for the latter's TransXpress Infinity MTS2 DWDM equipment. The multimillion-dollar contract calls for delivery of amplifiers that will cover the C- and L-bands and support 160 wavelengths at 10 Gbits/sec each, with capacity to expand to 320 wavelengths. The Siemens system is designed to be upgraded to 80 wavelengths at 40 Gbits/sec as well.

South America

Broadband infrastructure services provider Emergia S.A. (Montevideo, Uruguay) has successfully conducted TV transmission tests, from country to country, between the United States and Latin America over the company's fiber-optic network. The tests were conducted by transmitting normal programming, specific content, and bidirectional signals, from 4 Mbits/sec to 20 Mbits/sec, over a period of three days. Future tests will include the transmission of content to Chile, Argentina, and Spain.

Marconi plc (Pittsburgh) has announced a series of orders from Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. In Brazil, the optical backbone of Embratel will be expanded using Marconi's MSH64 high-performance SDH multiplexer, providing 10 Gbits/sec of bandwidth. Telcel in Mexico plans to deploy a Marconi optical solution that includes Marconi's MSH 41c SDH multiplexer and its MAS SDH access platforms. Details of the Chilean contract were not released.


FiberCorp (Brussels) has announced the signing of a contract with CMG, a consultancy specializing in IT and telecommunications, for a dark fiber connection between the consultancy's headquarters in Hoofddorp and Amstelveen, the Netherlands. The dark fiber is linked at both ends to Cisco routers, using Gigabit Ethernet. The only equipment required is a couple of plug-in cards for the routers, claim FiberCorp representatives. A ring connection will provide maximum assurance against fiber outages.

NetTest (Copenhagen) has been chosen as a global "preferred supplier" by Alcatel (Paris). The agreement includes NetTest test equipment for R&D laboratories, network installation and maintenance, post-installation network monitoring and management tools, as well as optical component testing.

FCI Fiber Optics (Paris) has acquired AIFOtec's (Munich) 1x2 optical-switch product line, including the intellectual property and know-how, capital equipment, and employees associated with the development and manufacture of the line. The acquisition will enable AIFOtec to streamline its product portfolio and focus on metro core transmitter and hybrid integration technology products.

Bookham Technology plc (Abingdon, Oxfordshire) has developed an optical spectrum analysis module (OSAM) with switching input to monitor optical power levels in DWDM systems. Following a preliminary technical and development phase, these modules are now being delivered and have been designed for evaluation in Nortel Network's (Brampton, Ontario) next-generation long-haul transmission systems.


Telecommunications carrier KDDI (Tokyo) has selected Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) to supply optical Ethernet equipment for delivery of advanced, high-speed data services to enterprise and residential customers. KDDI will deploy Nortel Networks' OPTera Metro 3500 multiservice platform and OPTera packet edge system to create what is expected to be Japan's first carrier-grade optical metro rings using optical Ethernet over resilient packet ring technology.

Adept Technology Inc. (San Jose, CA) has announced a strategic OEM agreement with Shibuya Kyogo of Japan. Per the agreement, the companies will partner to develop new high-precision photonic assembly solutions based on their combined expertise and automation technologies.

eAccess Ltd., a Tokyo-based broadband data communications company, has tapped Ciena Corp. (Linthicum, MD) for optical-switching equipment that eAccess will use in a metropolitan ring-based network between Osaka and Tokyo, Japan. The carrier will use Ciena's MetroDirector K2 along a SONET ring in Tokyo, and along 10-Gbit/sec sub-rings connecting Tokyo to Osaka.

Shaanxi Tonghui Network Communications Co. Ltd. (Beijing) has selected Cisco Systems Inc.'s (San Jose, CA) ONS 15200 Metro DWDM systems, a wavelength-to-the-building metro DWDM solution, for the high-speed fiber-optic network infrastructure of the Xi'an High-Tech Development Zone. TNC will be the first to deploy the ONS 15200 Metro DWDM system in China.

Japan Telecom (Tokyo) and Calient Networks (San Jose) have announced pre-deployment staging for the carrier's all-optical switched network. The companies are moving into end-to-end network configuration and interoperability staging with Calient's DiamondWave system, Generalized MPLS protocol code stack, and Cisco Systems' GSR routers. In addition, Oki Electric Industry Ltd. (Tokyo) and Calient Networks have announced the first contract sale of Calient's DiamondWave photonic switch. Oki will be Calient's primary OEM sales channel in the Japanese marketplace and has already secured orders of several nodes for evaluation systems from two major Japanese carriers, Japan Telecom and KDDI Corp.

Movaz Networks (Atlanta) and Flextronics (Singapore), an electronics manufacturing services provider, announced a strategic manufacturing services agreement that secures 250,000 sq ft of manufacturing, systems assembly, test, and integration facilities for Movaz's RAY optical-networking product line.

Africa · Middle East · Australia

Incumbent Australian telecom service provider Telstra (Melbourne) has selected Alcatel's (Paris) DWDM offerings to extend its backbone coverage by another 8,000 km. Alcatel will provide, install, and commission its 16-channel DWDM system, part of the Optinex family, to enhance transmission capacity on major routes in Australia.

Lightscape Networks (Petah Tikva, Israel), has announced that European broadband service company NTL will deploy its enhanced XDM intelligent optical platform with 10-Gbit/sec capability. NTL will use the XDM for high-speed connectivity between its U.K. backbone network and other carrier networks.

Lightwave is a monthly international publication focusing on fiber optics and optoelectronics, the technologies driving the growth, convergence, and improved performance of telephony, computer communications, and video. Lightwave provides technology news as well as applications and product information for corporate and technical managers and staff engineers. Lightwave's editors emphasize analysis and interpretation in their reports on the technological impact of fiber-optic components, systems, and networks in these markets.

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