Industry Update

Optical Regional Advanced Network of Ontario (ORANO) and Bell Canada have announced a $25-million contract to deliver optical fiber and equipment for the Ontario Research and Innovation Optical Network (ORION), which spans 3,700 km and will link Ontario's major educational institutions and research facilities in 21 communities across Ontario. The network backbone will feature Nortel Networks' (Ottawa, Ontario) OPTera Long Haul 1600 Optical Line System and Cisco Systems' (San Jose, CA) 7600 series routers. Two individual strands of fiber-optic cable, which ORION has acquired for 20 years, form the physical backbone of the network, interconnecting each of the network's 22 points of presence. The network will offer optical wavelength capacities at 10 Gbits/sec, scalable to 320 Gbits/sec, using DWDM transmission capabilities and Layer 3 routing architecture to support real time and high-bandwidth applications such as IP multipoint videoconferencing and grid computing.

Level(3) Communications (Broomfield, CO) and Genuity (Woburn, MA) have signed a definitive agreement whereby Level(3) will pay up to $242 million in cash and assume a significant portion of existing long-term operating agreements to acquire Genuity's assets and operations. To facilitate the transaction, Genuity is filing voluntary petitions for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. As part of the agreement, Level(3) is also acquiring Genuity's managed services business and its associated enterprise customers and product set, which will be combined with Level 3's (i)Structure subsidiary and operated under the name Genuity.

SBC Communications (San Antonio, TX) has selected Cisco Systems' (San Jose, CA) 12000 Series router to build-out a national 10-Gbit/sec OC-192 network to transport Internet-based services such as Dedicated Internet Access, SBC-Yahoo! DSL, and SBC-Yahoo! Dial. The network also will serve as the foundation for new and emerging IP transport and access capabilities for SBC's business customers. SBC will use MPLS-based traffic engineering to optimize backbone utilization and help meet customer service-level agreements.

Sprint (Overland Park, KS) has signed purchase orders with AGL Networks, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (Atlanta), for metro/access infrastructure in Atlanta. The multiyear contract will provide Sprint with connectivity to several central offices, mobile switching centers, and a Sprint point of presence in the Atlanta area. AGL Networks will lease fiber in its 175-mile network to Sprint and construct lateral access in the area for Sprint.

Startup OpTun (Menlo Park, CA) and Infineon Technologies AG (Munich) have signed a definitive agreement whereby Infineon will spin off its fiber-optic passive WDM research and development in the WDM optical-component arena and merge these activities with OpTun. The combined company, retaining the name OpTun, is targeted at providing smart WDM solutions and modules to the optical-networking systems market. Per the agreement, Infineon will transfer related intellectual property and patents to the new company and be a shareholder. Infineon also will act as a global distributor for OpTun's products.

Bell West (Calgary, Alberta) has selected Nortel Networks (Ottawa, Ontario) as the exclusive supplier for Alberta SuperNet's Base Area 2,500-km regional backbone, linking the province's 27 largest communities. Bell West is deploying Nortel's OPTera Metro 5200 multiservice DWDM platform and the OPTera Metro 5300 platform with resilient-packet-ring technology. Deployment is underway.

CloudShield Technologies (Sunnyvale, CA) has incorporated micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based optical-switching modules from OMM (San Diego) into its CC-200 system for homeland defense initiatives, enabling governmental agencies, carriers, and service providers to provide heightened protection for critical computer and communications infrastructure interconnected with fiber links. The CC-200, in conjunction with CloudShield's CA-5000 system, allows network data to be compared, classified, inspected, redirected, reported, and modified at the optical-packet level. The transparency provided by the optical-switching modules in the CC-200 allows it to serve as a core-network tap, which enables the CA-5000 to do deep packet processing.

AltaLink, an electricity transmission company in Alberta, Canada, will deploy Alcatel's (Paris) 3600 MainStreet Multiservice Bandwidth Manager and Alcatel 7470 Multiservice Platform to provide automatic protection of transmission lines and terminal stations across the power grid. The network also will ensure the high-speed and secure delivery of voice, data, and control services between AltaLink's operations center and remote substations. Altalink will also deploy the Alcatel 1603 SMX for next-generation multi-service SONET.

VocalData (Richardson, TX), provider of integrated voice and managed network applications for IP telephony systems, and Wave7 Optics (Alpharetta, GA), developer of optical access equipment for the fiber-to-the-home and -business markets, have announced compatibility of the VocalData VOISS application server with Wave7's Last Mile Link suite of optical access products. The alliance will enable broadband operators to add high-margin voice services to their service portfolios.

OFS (Atlanta) has signed a license agreement with BTexact Technologies (Suffolk, UK), the advanced research and technology business of British Telecommunications plc (BT), allowing the company to use BT's blown fiber technology and know-how. OFS will use the technology in its fiber-to-the-home solution, the Access Advantage System for optically connecting homes, businesses, and multiple dwelling units.

Western New Mexico Telephone (Silver City, NM) has deployed the Metro-Optix (Allen, TX) CityStream 5000 next-generation multiservice provisioning platform in its network. The telephone company is utilizing Metro-Optix's bandwidth manager as a metro edge optical crossconnect to enhance network performance.

Range Telephone Cooperative (Forsyth, MT) has selected Fujitsu Network Communications' (Richardson, TX) FLASHWAVE 4300 and FLASHWAVE 4500 optical transport platforms and the FLEXR GT craft interface software to connect and manage its southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming OC-48 network. Fujitsu Network Services is currently working with the Range Telephone family of companies to provide engineering, furnishing, and installation services, test and turn-up, and network management for the FLASHWAVE products. The 10-node network will support 25,000 customers with services ranging from basic voice and long-distance to high-speed Internet and future video applications.

Broadwing (Cincinnati) has signed an agreement with investment funds managed by Goldman, Sachs & Co. to provide $200 million in financing to Broadwing in the form of senior subordinated discount notes due in 2009. The financing will be used to pay down bank debt as part of Broadwing's five-point plan to strengthen the company's financial position. Announced in October 2001, the plan focuses on maintaining the strength and stability of its Cincinnati Bell businesses, restructuring its Broadwing Communications unit to reduce expenses and improve cash flow by about $200 million annually, continuing to review strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, and reducing the company's debt balances over time.

Meriton Networks (Ottawa, Ontario), developer of carrier class wavelength networking equipment, has secured additional funding of $17 million in equity and debt led by VenGrowth Capital Partners. Existing investors Desjardins Venture Capital Group, Newbury Ventures, Primaxis Technology Ventures, RBC Capital Partners (Telecommunications Fund), Sierra Ventures, Venture Coaches, and VentureLink Fund also participated. The funding will be used to support product trials now underway by carriers as well as expand into new markets.

Laser-diode manufacturer Alfalight (Madison, WI) has closed a $15-million venture funding round led by Arch Venture Partners. The funds will be used to continue growth in its Madison facility, enhance its product offerings, and expand sales and marketing activities. This latest round, the company's third, brings the total invested in Alfalight to $49.1 million.

Optical Solutions (Minneapolis), provider of fiber-optic communications systems for the local access market, has capped its series F funding with a new investment from Intel Capital. Optical Solutions raised a total of $24 million in the round.

Agility Communications (Santa Barbara, CA), Alcatel Optronics (Paris), and Bookham Technology plc (Oxfordshire, UK) have announced a major multisource agreement (MSA) for tunable-laser sources that defines a small-form-factor plug-in subsystem, including a tunable continuous wave (CW) laser with embedded electronics that allows automatic wavelength setting and locking. Products compliant with the MSA include 10- and 20-mW tunable CW lasers able to cover both C- and L-band applications, with 25- and 50-GHz wavelength spacing. Each of the MSA founding companies will separately develop and market fully compatible tunable sources.

Telecommunications operator Belgacom (Groot-Bijgaarden, Belgium) has signed a contract with Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) to implement Lucent's Metropolis Enhanced Optical Network rings onto the existing Belgacom network in London, Paris, and Brussels. The implementation will enable Belgacom to expand the bandwidth of its existing network and deliver new revenue-generating services like Gigabit Ethernet and interoperable storage solutions. Lucent also supported the project with network design and enhanced program management.

Opto Speed (Rüschlikon, Switzerland) and Infomax Optical Technology (Taoyuan, Taiwan) will collaborate on the engineering, manufacturing, and sales of their optoelectronic-product portfolios. Per the agreement, Opto Speed will provide its customers with high-performance Fabry-Perot and distributed-feedback lasers as well as PIN photodetectors packaged in advanced TO-cans and receiver and transmitter optical subassemblies. For Infomax, the agreement allows the company to expand its product portfolio.

Alcatel Optronics (Paris), Hitachi Cables (Tokyo), and NTT Electronics (NEL—Tokyo) have announced a multisource agreement (MSA) for thermally stabilized arrayed-waveguide-grating (AWG) modules to provide multiplexing and demultiplexing interfaces for DWDM optical equipment. The MSA defines common mechanical features and electrical parts of the AWG modules and, more specifically, package outlines for the AWGs with up to 48 channels, heater resistance, pin-function definitions, and software. Optical performance such as insertion loss and crosstalk is up to each MSA member, which will independently develop and market compatible AWG products.

China Telecommunications (China Telecom—Beijing) is building its high-density, service-enabled IP/MPLS network using Juniper Networks' (Sunnyvale, CA) T320 and M20 routers. The deployment of T-series routers complements the successful activation of Juniper's ERX and M-series routers in the Wuhan, Shanghai, and Sichuan provinces earlier last year. The network provides China Telecom with new revenue opportunities and enables the activation of advanced IP/MPLS services, including tiered access, IP virtual private networks, and metro Ethernet applications.

Japanese network systems integrator VIC TOKAI has selected Movaz Networks (Atlanta) as the exclusive supplier for the expansion of its existing optical-network infrastructure between Tokyo and Nagoya. The contract was established through a strategic relationship between Movaz and Japanese distributor NETMARKS. Movaz and NETMARKS have built three interlocking DWDM rings that will transport optical Ethernet and traditional telecommunications services to over 30 sites, connecting 14 cities in the Kanto and Tokai areas of Japan. The VIC TOKAI network will feature the Movaz RAYexpress and RAYextender.

Ciena (Linthicum, MD) has opened a mainland China representative office in Beijing, currently staffed with sales, systems engineers, and program management employees. The announcement comes two years after the launch of the company's Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong. Since then, Ciena has developed a joint venture with CEC-IDN in Beijing, and both companies will continue to work together on the mainland market to serve existing clients and grow the business. Ciena and CEC-IDN also jointly launched a research and development center in Shanghai earlier this year. In addition to the Beijing office, Ciena has Asian offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, and Japan.

FLAG Telecom Group (Hamilton, Bermuda) has completed the installation of a new virtual point of presence (VPoP) in Karachi, Pakistan. The VPoP is now fully operational and will be managed and operated locally by Pakistan Telecommunication Co. According to the companies, this collaboration is the first to offer a seamless one-stop shop for international managed bandwidth between Pakistan and key international business centers on the FLAG Telecom global network in Europe, the United States, and Asia. Customers are also now able to purchase IP transit bandwidth from the Karachi VPoP and take advantage of FLAG's Internet backbone, which incorporates both eastward and westward routing and peering at major Internet exchanges around the globe.

Modulight (Tampere, Finland) and High-Tech Corp. (Tokyo) have signed a distribution agreement designed to sell and promote Modulight's products in the Japanese market. The companies will provide product solutions that cover the processing of optoelectronic components to the levels specified by their customers.

Counties Power, a leading New Zealand electricity distributor, has selected equipment from World Wide Packets (Spokane, WA) for deployment in a new broadband service delivery network. The World Wide Packets solution will enable delivery of telephony, business video, broadband data, and Internet access beginning early this year.

XLight Photonics (Tel-Aviv, Israel) and Santur (Fremont, CA) have announced they signed an agreement for the supply and use of Santur's tunable lasers in XLight's products. Santur will supply XLight with its distributed-feedback array-based widely tunable lasers for use in XLight's 300-pin multisource-agreement 10-Gbit/sec widely tunable transponders.

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