Multimillion Dollar Agreements Point Tellium Toward Going Public

A pair of multimillion-dollar agreements has placed Tellium Inc. (Oceanport, NJ) on a course to exceed its expectations for this year and positioned for a future initial public offering.

A pair of multimillion-dollar agreements has placed Tellium Inc. (Oceanport, NJ) on a course to exceed its expectations for this year and positioned the company for a future initial public offering.

Last week, the optical switching solution provider signed a pact with Qwest Communications International (Denver, CO) to support deployment of its next-generation all-optical broadband Internet network using Tellium's Aurora Optical Switch, designed to deliver 1.28 terabits of capacity with interfaces scaling from Optical Carrier (OC)-48 up to OC-768.

Earlier this month, the global telecommunications firm Cable & Wireless agreed to deploy Tellium's suite of optical switching products across its global Internet Protocol (IP) network. The contract has a minimum purchase commitment of $350 million over five years.

Tellium's chairman and CEO Harry Carr says the two announcements are part of the principal focus of driving more business to the company, which was founded in 1997 by optical experts from Bellcore.

"Both Qwest and Cable & Wireless surveyed the competitive field and after careful evaluation, they believed Tellium could best fit their needs," said Carr.

According to Carr, Tellium will begin shipping multiple units of its Aurora Optical Switch, coupled with its StarNet Operating System and Wavelength Management System, to Qwest early next year. In addition, Qwest will be evaluating other Tellium equipment, including its third-generation platform, the Aurora Full-Spectrum switch, which is currently in development.

Cable & Wireless said they have completed initial trial testing of the Aurora Optical Switch at Tellium's facilities. Field deployment within Cable & Wireless' global IP network is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2001.

"They will be deploying mainly in North America, Europe, and Asia," said Carr. "If successful, this may lead to other regions as well," he added.

Carr says the two announcements are evidence of Tellium's success in attracting business by what they can offer as opposed to what they can promise, which may be a key factor in its plan to go public.

"It's a question of where we are in the war of reality versus the war of spec sheets," noted Carr. "We believe we offer customers clear economic benefits, and our capital and operational expenditures reflect that," he added.

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