Three of the nation's largest telecommunications service providers—BellSouth (Atlanta), SBC Communications (San Antonio, TX), and Verizon Communications (New York City)—adopted a set of common technical requirements based on established industry standards and specifications for fiber to the premises (FTTP) technology used to connect homes and businesses to telecom networks. The three service providers issued a letter to telecom equipment manufacturers, alerting them that the providers will soon be seeking proposals for equipment based on the common requirements. BellSouth, SBC, and Verizon will independently finalize their FTTP deployment plans for 2004 and beyond, based on the evaluation of these proposals, ongoing internal studies, and the resolution of related regulatory issues.
· Router provider Juniper Networks (Sunnyvale, CA) and optical transport equipment provider Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) announced a partnership to deliver unified solutions dedicated to helping service providers evolve their networks to full-service IP infrastructures. The IP virtual-private-network (VPN) solution, which is available now, is based on existing products. It enables service providers to offer a full range of VPN services over a common IP/MPLS core network. The Multiservice MPLS Core solution, available in the first quarter of next year, is designed to allow service providers to grow ATM/frame relay revenues and add IP services onto a converged IP/MPLS core. IP Centrex, available now, enables service providers to deliver business-quality services to enterprises over a packet-based network. An optical edge solution, under joint development, is designed to help expand the enterprise market for high-value Ethernet services over existing service-provider networks. Lucent Worldwide Services will support each of the solutions with network design, deployment, and maintenance services.
·Tellabs (Naperville, IL) plans to acquire privately held Vivace Networks (San Jose, CA), developer of multiservice IP edge switches, for $135 million in cash and employee stock options. The move brings two new products to Tellabs and enables the company to expand into the global service-provider edge router and switch market. Vivace, a four-year-old startup, recognized its first customer revenues in 2002. Tellabs' acquisition of Vivace is expected to close in the third quarter, subject to Hart-Scott-Rodino and Vivace stockholders' approval. Tellabs plans to retain Vivace's employees and offices in San Jose. Vivace chief executive and co-founder Ken Koenig will become Tellabs' senior vice president, advanced data products, and report to Tellabs North America president Ed Kennedy.
· Subsystem and module manufacturer Avanex (Fremont, CA) signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alcatel's optical-component business and most of Corning's Photonics Division in combined transactions valued at about $63.5 million. Avanex will acquire all outstanding equity of Alcatel's optical-component division, including operations in France and the United Kingdom. Alcatel is expected to contribute over $110 million in cash. Avanex and Alcatel (Paris) will also enter into a supply agreement whereby Avanex will supply components and subsystems for Alcatel's optical-networking products over a three-year period. Assets to be purchased from Corning (Corning, NY) include the optical-amplifier, dispersion compensation, and micro-optics operations located in New York and Corning modulator operations in Italy. Corning is expected to contribute over $20 million in cash. At closing, Dr. Joseph A. Miller Jr., senior vice president and chief technology officer at Corning, is expected to join the Avanex board of directors. Alcatel and Corning will also receive 28% and 17%, respectively, of Avanex's outstanding common stock of the post-transaction company.
·Level(3) Communications (Broomfield, CO) is providing network services in the United States to financial exchange Euronext.liffe (Amsterdam), one of the largest exchanges for equities, bonds, derivatives, and commodities in Europe. Euronext has signed agreements to purchase private line, collocation, and metropolitan dark fiber services to provide the financial exchange company's LIFFE CONNECT electronic trading platform service to the Chicago Board of Trade, the world's oldest futures exchange. Euronext was created in September 2000 through the merger of the Amsterdam Exchanges, Brussels Exchanges, and ParisBourse. In December 2001, the company acquired the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange (LIFFE), and in February 2002, it merged with BVLP, the Portuguese cash and derivatives market. Euronext is also purchasing network services from Level(3) in Europe.
· Widely tunable-laser companies Agility Communications (Santa Barbara, CA) and Princeton Optronics (Princeton, NJ) announced their support of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) Compliant Tunable Laser Multisource Agreement (MSA). Agility and Princeton join Bookham Technology, GTRAN, Intel, iolon, QDI, Santur, and Vitesse Semiconductor, which formed the MSA group in March. The OIF Compliant Tunable Laser MSA defines the communications protocol, electrical interface, power supply, optical specifications, and mechanical form factors of widely tunable lasers operating in the C- or L-bands.
· Global carrier Sprint (Overland Park, KS) completed the deployment of three large MAN rings in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The rings connect the Sprint network to local telecom exchange facilities—a point of presence (PoP) and several end offices—as well as a Sprint mobile switching center (MSC) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. The MSC routes wireless calls for local PCS customers of Sprint. Separately, Sprint announced an agreement with AGL Networks to deploy a large MAN ring in the Phoenix area later this year. AGL Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (Atlanta), will lease fiber on the ring to Sprint within its 60-mi metro network, which covers the Phoenix central business district as well as portions of Tempe, AZ. Sprint's Phoenix-area ring will connect the Sprint network to local telecom exchange facilities—two PoPs and several end offices-and a Sprint MSC in Phoenix. Sprint is establishing local transport infrastructure in metropolitan areas across the United States to bypass the incumbent local-exchange carriers in several areas of the country. By building these metro rings, Sprint is planning to drive its all-digital fiber-optic network deeper into the metro areas of 30 U.S. cities before mid-2004.
·National Technical Systems' telecommunications lab in Fullerton, CA, received $1.7 million in new contracts from four major telecom equipment vendors under the Verizon Communications (New York City) Passive Fiber Optic Component Independent Test Laboratory program. The contracts were awarded following Verizon's approval in March for National Technical Systems to perform testing on next-generation high-density fiber distribution equipment used to support broadband communications. Verizon requires its telecom equipment vendors to have their products certified by an approved lab. The testing is expected to be completed by the end of next month. Under the contracts, National Technical Systems will perform 40-Gbit/sec (OC-768) transmission rate testing for next-generation high-density fiber distribution frames.
·Fluke Networks (Everett, WA), manufacturer of fiber test, inspection, and certification solutions, and Pearson Technologies (Acworth, GA), a fiber design and installation consulting company, have joined the Fiber Optics LAN section (FOLS) of the Telecommunications Industry Association (Arlington, VA). FOLS is a consortium of optical-fiber, cable, and component manufacturers that was formed nine years ago to provide users with information about the benefits of optical fiber in customer-owned networks. Other FOLS members include 3M/Volition, ADC, AMP/Tyco Electronics, Corning, Corning Cable Systems, Leviton Voice & Data, OFS, Optek Technology, Panduit, Ortronics, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, and Transition Networks.
·Tele2 Sverige AB, the Swedish alternate telecommunications service provider, has chosen the next-generation SDH platform from Tellabs to expand its Internet and intranet services for enterprise customers. Offering Ethernet over SDH capabilities, the Tellabs 6300 managed transport series will enable Tele2 to reduce costs, quickly connect customers to Fast Ethernet, and deliver high-speed data and voice services. Tele2 is using Tellabs' 6350 switch node, a digital crossconnect with high density, and the 6310 edge node for access and customer premises applications. Tellabs will also provide Tele2 with customized training and service support.
·FLAG Telecom Group Limited (Hamilton, Bermuda) announced it will enhance its European network through an agreement with Verizon Global Solutions. This agreement is a key element in FLAG's global network plan, since it will improve FLAG's ability to meet customers' growing connectivity needs between Europe, the United States, and Asia. FLAG will also be opening new points of presence (PoPs) in Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Supplementing its existing PoPs in London and Paris will enable FLAG to offer direct connectivity into and out of Europe's four largest international traffic hubs. The network is expected to be fully in service at the beginning of next year's first quarter, with Verizon providing capacity, project management services, and the provisioning of SDH equipment.
·Nortel Networks (Ottawa, Ontario) has supplied the necessary optical equipment to deploy and set up the Research Telematics Network of the Madrid Autonomous Region in Spain. Nortel Networks OPTera Metro 5200 multiservice platform, an optical-fiber communications system using DWDM, is being used to deliver broadband optical services. It is being deployed to interconnect universities located in the region with the National Institute of Aerospace Technique, Superior Center for Scientific Research, and Internet.
·Banverket Telenät, the Swedish carrier's carrier, is replacing its existing legacy backbone with DWDM equipment and an advanced bandwidth management system from Nortel Networks. In addition to leasing capacity on its network, the carrier develops and manages the telecommunications installations of the Swedish National Rail Administration, comprising some 13,000 km of fiber-optic network, which runs alongside the tracks of Sweden's railway system. The new network is being built in response to growing demand for 10-Gbit/sec channels and Gigabit Ethernet services. Nortel is deploying a multichannel OPTera long-haul DWDM network and OPTera Connect DX optical switches to replace the existing DWDM platform. The network will be managed through Nortel's Preside optical-network management platform. This deployment furthers a supply agreement previously entered into between Nortel and Banverket.
· Component manufacturer Avalon Photonics (Zurich) completed its second round of financing, raising a total of $5.5 million in venture capital funding. Investors include Vision Capital, Viventures, Venture Incubator, innotech, and the Swiss Center for Electronics and Microelectronics (CSEM). The funding will allow the company to develop and produce singlemode and multimode vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) for the data communications and sensing markets. Avalon was spun off from CSEM in September 2000.
· Alcatel announced a multimillion-U.S.-dollar contract with China Telecom (Beijing) to build a new DWDM transmission backbone network, linking western and southern China. The contract was won through Alcatel Shanghai Bell, the first foreign-invested company limited by shares in the telecom sector in China, with Alcatel holding 50%+1 shares and Chinese shareholders holding the remainder. Alcatel will deliver its 1686 DWDM system, together with its 1300 NM network management platform. The new network, expected to be completed this year, will span 2,177 km from Sichuan in western China to Yunnan and Guizhou in southern China.
·Sonus Networks (Westford, MA), provider of packet-based voice technology, announced it has appointed telecommunications systems integrator IBIL as its partner in Malaysia. Sonus also announced the establishment of a regional office in Kuala Lumpur, which will enable the company to directly support its customers and partners in the country.
·Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) signed a contract with Zhejiang Telecom, a subsidiary of China Telecom, to build local optical transport networks in Hangzhou and Wenzhou, cities in Zhejiang province. Under the contract, Lucent will supply a wide range of optical equipment, including the LambdaUnite MultiService Switch, WaveStar TDM 10G, Metropolis ADM MultiService Mux (compact shelf), Metropolis AM, and network management systems, to assist Zhejiang Telecom in bringing Ethernet services to its existing SDH network. Lucent's advanced optical products will help double the capacity of Zhejiang Telecom's existing network and allow them to deliver new services such as Gigabit Ethernet. Zhejiang is also deploying Lucent's Navis Optical Management Solution, a portfolio of software products.
· Optical transport equipment provider Lumentis (Stockholm) announced an agreement with Uecomm Limited, a Melbourne-based broadband carrier, to deliver high-bandwidth and reliable SAN services to OM Australia, provider of transaction technology for the financial services and energy industries. Uecomm provides a MetroWave service that allows organizations like OM to communicate large quantities of data at high speeds to multiple locations. Lumentis is providing its Mentis DWDM platform to assist with offering high-end enterprise services such as SAN, along with increased bandwidth, to enable real time backup of data. The Lumentis system architecture eliminates the need for optical amplifiers. Using the DWDM technology, the Uecomm network will have the flexibility to deliver transport services with a range of different protocols like IP, SDH, Fibre Channel, and Gigabit Ethernet.
·BroadLight (Ramat Gan, Israel), supplier of communications semiconductors and optical transceivers, achieved three design wins for its end-to-end passive-optical-networking (PON) technology, which includes burst mode transceivers, PON controllers, and software stacks for both central-office and customer premises equipment. The new design wins come from tier one equipment vendors.