Industry Update

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF-Fremont, CA) announced that its membership has approved a serializer/deserializer (SerDes) framer interface level 5 (SFI-5) implementation agreement (IA). Created by the OIF's Physical & Link Layer Working Group, the SFI-5 IA is an integral part of a series of agreements addressing the interfaces for packet and cell transfer in 40-Gbit/sec applications like OC-768 ATM and packet-over-SONET. The SFI-5 interface allows manufacturers of high-speed SerDes devices and optical modules to develop components with the certainty that complementary products from forward error correction and framer suppliers will be interoperable.

north america

Transmitting 10-Gbit/sec data rates up to 300 m using 850-nm optics is possible on a new standardized 50/125-micron fiber that is laser-optimized, according to the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA-Arlington, VA). The fiber is now supported by the newly approved first addendum to the ANSI/TIA/EIA-568-B.3 standard. The addendum, "Additional Transmission Performance Specifications for 50/125 micrometer Optical Fiber Cables," sets the performance parameters for this cabled fiber.

OTM Engineering (Austin, TX) and Grande Communications (San Marcos, TX) will build a new communications network for two Central Texas school districts. The cost of construction and fiber for the Round Rock Independent School District will be $3 million. Leander Independent School District's fiber infrastructure will be valued at $2 million. The new networks will provide both school districts with current and future high-bandwidth technology applications and are scheduled for completion in October.

Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) announced three customer deployments of its metro optical portfolio. Two educational institutions, George Mason University and Round Rock Independent School District, have deployed Nortel's optical Ethernet technology. Additionally, Nortel announced that Smart Communications, a Philippines wireless service provider, completed implementation of its optical metro backbone network based on DWDM technology for high-bandwidth SAN data backup.

NeoPhotonics (Fremont, CA) has completed its final round of funding to bring its total to about $35 million. New investors included CDP Capital - Technology Ventures, Rockport Capital Partners, Small-Technology Venture Capital (Harris & Harris Group), and Linkmore Capital. NeoPhotonics develops and manufactures advanced planar optical devices by monolithically integrating active and passive optical materials using proprietary nanomaterials-based process solutions.

Auxora (Baldwin Park, CA) a provider of optical filter products for wavelength management and control, completed its Series A financing round with an additional $3 million. The latest financing, led by Rustic Canyon Ventures, brings the total investment in Auxora to $14.7 million. Auxora will use the funds to continue expansion of its research and development efforts and bring its new products, including tunable filters, to market this year.

All Optical Networks (AON-San Diego) has closed a $6-million Series A funding round. The funding, led by ForeFront Capital, will be applied to commercializing the company's MetroScout transparent optical access multiplexer. The MetroScout is based on AON's wavelength shift multiplexing technology, which allows all optical translation of data signals from one wavelength to another in the 1310-nm regime.

Memphis Networx (Memphis, TN) completed construction of its fiber network ringing the major business centers of Memphis and Shelby County with high-speed commercial fiber-optic cable. With the completion of this 90-mi fiber ring, Memphis Networx opened for commercial business as a carrier's carrier to bring tier one capabilities to the city. The company's first customer, Kentucky Data Link, was announced in May.

PowerNetix (San Jose, CA), an independent provider of high-power laser pump modules, has secured a second round of venture financing. The undisclosed round follows an initial $6.5 million raised in December 2000. The new funding will be used to accelerate manufacturing of PowerNetix's current line of high-power 980-nm pump modules as well as to accelerate the company' product development schedule.

Lumenon Innovative Lightwave Technology (Montreal), a photonics materials science and process technology company, will engage MTBSolutions (MTBS-San Jose, CA) to aid in the design and fabrication of Lumenon's next generation of packaged optical components. The joint development program will augment Lumenon's long-term packaging capabilities and is consistent with the company's plan to create strategic relationships to leverage the best available capabilities and practices toward highly reliable low-cost component solutions.

Intelligent Photonics Control (Ottawa, Ontario), formerly CANasic Communications, a developer of electronic controllers that provide self-configuration, diagnostics and remote management of optical components, secured $5.6 million in Series A financing. The syndicate, led by Novacap and Venture West, also includes BDC, SpringBank TechVentures, and Purple Angels. The company, founded in September 2000, has completed two successful field trials with tier one U.S. carriers and plans to launch products commercially this year.

Optical-component manufacturer Qusion Technologies (North Brunswick, NJ), has reached an agreement to supply EMCORE (Somerset, NJ) with external modulators beginning with their wide optical bandwidth electro-absorption-modulator product family. The agreement provides EMCORE with early access and influence on new product developments at Qusion. EMCORE will also make a strategic investment in Qusion as part of second-round financing.

Sirenza Microdevices (Sunnyvale, CA), a designer and supplier of high-performance radio frequency components for communications equipment, has been awarded U.S. patent number 6,373,346, entitled, "Laser Driver Pre-emphasis and De-emphasis Method and/or Architecture with Tuning and Duty Cycle Control." The patent discloses a unique analog method for pre-shaping data to improve the signal-to-noise ratio of vertical-cavity surface-emitting-laser (VCSEL)-based fiber-optic transmitters. The technique is being applied to the Sirenza's 10-Gigabit Ethernet system products.

FiberNet Telecom Group (New York City) executed an agreement to purchase dark fiber from KeySpan Communications (New York City), an owner and operator of high-speed fiber-optic networks in NYC and Long Island, NY. The agreement provides FiberNet with dark fiber connectivity to certain key carrier hotels in the New York metropolitan area.

SDN Communications (Sioux Falls, SD) selected the Ai Metrix (Herndon, VA) NeuralStar integrated network inventory management system to help provide advanced voice, data, and video services to affiliated companies over the member-owned fiber-optic network. SDN is a private company held by several independent South Dakota telephone companies. Ai Metrix will deliver its system over SDN's 5,000-mi multistate network to perform auto-discovery and ongoing inventory reconciliation.

Rsoft Design Group (Eatontown, NJ) announced an expanded leadership role in Photonics CAD (PCAD), a consortium of companies formed as a research and development effort to reduce the time and costs associated with manufacturing photonic components, while increasing reliability and productivity. Rsoft will head the multilevel core framework task team to develop a system to accommodate an expandable library of tools for generating, validating, and optimizing photonic designs at the network, system, component, and device levels.

Metro-Optix (Santa Clara, CA) has completed a trial of its CityStream multiservice provisioning platform. Iowa Network Services (Des Moines, IA) completed the trial along with Next Level Communications Inc. (Rohnert Park, CA) full-service access platform.

Enavis Networks (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), a subsidiary of ECI Telecom, announced that New World Network (Miami) successfully deployed its T::DAX All-Band crossconnect bandwidth management system. New World Network's Americas Region Caribbean Optical-ring System (ARCOS) provides high-speed connectivity between the United States, the Bahamas, Turks & Caicos, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Curacao, Venezuela, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. In addition, Enavis announced that Florida Digital Network, a facilities-based carrier in Orlando, FL, also successfully deployed the T::DAX system.

south america

Brazil's Companhia de Telecomunicacoes do Brasil Central (CTBC Telecom-Uberlandia, Minas Gerais) has selected the XDM converged optical-networking platform from Lightscape Networks (Herndon, VA) for deployment in its DWDM network backbone. The initial phase of the contract, which will be implemented over the near term, is valued at $5 million, with potential for further network expansion in the near future. Under the agreement, Lightscape's XDM hybrid optical platform will be used to create a DWDM network that will span 6,500 km in the central east region of Brazil. The network will connect major cities in Brazil, including Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and Uberlandia.


The International Telecommunication Union (ITU-Geneva) set a global standard for metro optical fiber networks that will expand the use of coarse WDM (CWDM) in metropolitan networks. ITU-T Recommendation G.694.2 is the most recent in the series, which specifies physical layer attributes of optical interfaces. It provides a grid of wavelengths for target distances up to about 50 km on singlemode fibers as specified in Recommendations G.652, G.653, and G.655. The CWDM grid consists of 18 wavelengths defined within the range 1270-1610 nm spaced by 20 nm.

FastWeb, an Italian provider of integrated telephony, Internet access, and television services, has deployed Minerva Networks' (Santa Clara, CA) complete net-worked personal video-recording solution for its broadband fiber-to-the-home IP network. FastWeb, controlled by e.Biscom SpA, expects a take rate of more than 80% for the new services from its current TV subscribers in Milan, Genoa, Turin, Rome, Naples, and Bologna. The solution uses Minerva's VNP video encoders to enable subscribers to record up to one week's worth of programming from nine national TV channels.

Level 3 Communications (Broomfield, CO) has reached a multiyear agreement to supply optical wavelength services to America Online in Europe. The services will be provided on major routes connecting London to Paris, Paris to Frankfurt, and Frankfurt to London, with 2.5- and 10-Gbit/sec services on Level 3's transatlantic undersea cable between London and New York. Level 3 currently offers service in nine major European markets and plans to add eight more markets across Western Europe this year. Level 3 also announced its selection of the Laurel Networks (Pittsburgh) ST200 service edge router for its MPLS-based backbone network.

Telecom Developpement, France's second-largest network operator, has chosen Ciena's (Linthicum, MD) CoreDirector as the primary optical switch for its network. Telecom Developpement's long-haul network spans more than 50 French cities and currently uses Ciena's optical transport system, CoreStream. This latest agreement will establish intelligent switching capabilities in Paris, with further deployment scheduled for Lyon in 2003.

Marconi plc (London) announced that Wold International (Los Angeles) will deploy a Marconi broadband network for worldwide distribution of broadcast video for news, sports, and special events. Wold recently launched Meridian, a new multiservice high-bandwidth network that expands its range of video and data services across the United States, Japan, Korea, and the United Kingdom.


Bandwidth9 (Fremont, CA) announced a reseller agreement with Macnica I&C (Yokohama City, Japan) to establish a sales channel for tunable lasers in Japan. The agreement makes Macnica the exclusive distributor for Bandwidth9's products, including the MetroFlex G2, a tunable transmitter that provides wide tuning in a 2x3-inch package. The product incorporates a directly modulated vertical-cavity surface-emitting-laser (VCSEL)-based tunable laser, wavelength-locking technology, and an optional gain element in one integrated package.

Unizone Technologies (Seoul, Korea) is formally evaluating the Optical Solution (Minneapolis) FiberPath 400 passive-optical-network (PON) solution. As part of its evaluation, Unizone is testing the switched digital video capability and high-speed data service on the FiberPath 400. Unizone serves Korea's largest telephone companies and is expanding globally. Optical Solutions also announced a contract award from Reedsburg Utility Commission of Wisconsin for its FiberPath 440 PON solution.

africa · middle east · australia

Through its distribution partner, Spescom Telecommunications Pty. (Midrand, South Africa), free-space optics (FSO) equipment manufacturer LightPointe (San Diego) will be the sole vendor in providing an FSO solution to incumbent South Africa telecom carrier Telkom South Africa. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. According to Spescom, Telkom SA will be using LightPointe's FSO products in the metro/access area of their network, which serves more than five million customers.

Telecom New Zealand and Alcatel (Paris) have formed a strategic partnership to manage the development and integration of Telecom's trans-Tasman next-generation network. Both companies will work together to migrate Telecom's legacy voice and data networks to an IP network in New Zealand and integrate it with their core network in Australia. Alcatel will be the primary equipment supplier for the new services to New Zealand and supply operational support systems for the network.

The Southern Cross Cable Network, a provider of bandwidth between Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, and the continental United States, is serving as the international backbone for the Service Providers Industry Association Broadband Xchange Project, which was developed to enable the widespread rollout of broadband in Australia. Southern Cross (Sydney) has the potential to provide for Australia's growing bandwidth requirements during the next five years. The network will be upgraded to 240 Gbits/sec of lit capacity in 2003 from 120 Gbits/sec. Southern Cross also commissioned a new access point in San Jose, CA, in August. The cable network is a principal sponsor of the Broadband Xchange project, which is designed to demonstrate the benefits of broadband to business and consumer audiences in Australia, with hopes of accelerating the adoption of high-speed broadband access technology. Southern Cross joins other project sponsors, including Alcatel, Microsoft, and Telstra. The launch of the Broadband Xchange Website is one key initiative. The site, located at www.broad is designed to help potential users assess the most appropriate option for their Internet solution. The Southern Cross Cable Network is owned by Telecom New Zealand, Optus, and WorldCom.

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