hot off the press

Finisar Corp. (Sunnyvale, CA) and Hitachi Cable Ltd. (Tokyo) have reached an agreement to standardize new digital diagnostic and monitoring functions in the respective SONET OC-48 small-form-factor-pluggable (SFP) optical transceiver modules. The new standard utilizes the two serial ID pins in the SFP connector to access an extended address set that provides calibrated, real-time measurements of the laser bias current, the transmitted optical power, the received optical power, and the internal transceiver temperature and supply voltage.

North America

Fluke Networks (Everett, WA) has acquired Fotec Inc. (Medford, MA), provider of fiber-optic test equipment and structured cabling education. Financial terms were not disclosed. The acquisition will incorporate Fotec's Web-based "Fiber U" and "Wire U" programs and conferences with Fluke's own training programs.

MAYAN Networks Corp. (San Jose, CA) will acquire Ariel Corp. (Cranbury, NJ), a provider of high-density SS7-enabled dial-up access equipment. The companies expect the integration of their technologies to yield new SONET-enabled solutions for carriers and Internet service providers.

LSA Inc. (Arlington, VA), a technical engineering and product management-consulting company serving the Department of Defense, will launch a new company, LSA Communications Inc. (Exton, PA), at SuperComm 2001. The new company will offer free-space optical-networking solutions designed to help ISPs, service providers, and carriers conquer the last-mile connectivity challenge.

Kent Electronics Corp. (Houston, TX) has acquired Avnet Inc. (Phoenix), an electronic component and embedded systems distributor, in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at approximately $550 million.

EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. (Quebec City) has completed its previously announced acquisition of EFOS Inc. (Toronto) for 3.7 million subordinate voting shares and $25 million in cash. EFOS will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary at its current facility.

Tektronix Inc. (Beaverton, OR) and GenRad Inc. (Westford, MA) have entered into a joint development partnership in which Tektronix's optical test equipment will be incorporated into GenRad's functional test systems to create an integrated optical test solution for electronics manufacturers. Per the partnership, Tektronix will integrate its OTS9000 product family for testing DWDM systems at 10 Gbits/sec with the GenRad GR Versa OT, a PXI/CompactPCI-based test solution.

Optical Solutions Inc. (Minneapolis) has entered into a strategic relationship with Corning Inc. (Corning, NY) to accelerate the rate of fiber-to-the-home adoption. Per the agreement, Optical Solutions has identified Corning as a preferred provider of passive optical-network infrastructure components and solutions. According to the companies, they will work together in marketing, training, and support to develop and serve mutual customers.

Mitel Corp. (Ottawa, Canada) and Agilent Technologies Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) have signed a multisource agreement that defines a standard package and electrical and optical interfaces for four-channel parallel fiber-optic modules. The module is designed to meet demand for network capacity in next-generation systems, including very-short-reach OC-192 and InfiniBand.

US Conec Ltd. (Hickory, NC) and Xanoptix Inc. (Merrimack, NH) have jointly designed a connector adapter for Xanoptix's XTM-1 transceiver that is both cost-effective and space saving, say company representatives. The XTM-1 connects 36 transmitting and 36 receiving fibers point-to-point at speeds of 3.125 Gbits per channel.

Village Networks Inc. (Eatontown, NJ) and OMM Inc. (San Diego) have partnered to design an optical subsystem architecture that allows Village Networks' iOPN2000 to scale to a 64x64 switch matrix using OMM's 2D MEMS technology. The iOPN2000 featuring OMM's MEMS-based solution is currently in trials with major carriers, including Global Crossing.

Yipes Communications Inc. (San Francisco) and Exodus Communications Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) have signed a reseller agreement whereby Exodus will offer its customers Yipes' managed optical MAN services. Exodus will initially roll out Yipes' services in Internet Data Centers (IDCs) in Boston, Chicago, and the Silicon Valley. Per the agreement, Exodus will provide scalable local access alternatives to customers that require connectivity from an Exodus IDC to remote application service providers or business locations.

Multilink Technology Corp. (Somerset, NJ) and PMC-Sierra (Burnaby, BC) have entered into a technical and marketing alliance to develop complete 10-Gbit/sec reference platforms for optical networking. Per the agreement, the companies will combine Multilink's SiGe SerDes chipset and forward-error-correction devices with PMC-Sierra's 10-Gbit/sec framer technologies to facilitate the design of line-card solutions targeted at the metro market.

Infineon Technologies (Munich, Germany), OpNext Inc. (Monmouth County, NJ), and Sumitomo Electric Industries (Tokyo) have announced a multisource agreement (MSA) for small-size 2.488-Gbit/sec transceivers with multiplexer modules. The MSA defines common mechanical, electrical, and optical specifications for an OC-48 transponder, which is used for optical-to-electrical conversion and incorporates serializer/deserializer functions.

Touch America Colorado LLC (Denver) has chosen Cisco Systems Inc.'s (San Jose) metropolitan DWDM solution for use in its 250-mile fiber-optic ring connecting the Denver area to Touch America's national, high-speed, broadband network. The service and product launch began this quarter.

Cable & Wireless (London) has selected American Fiber Systems Inc. (AFS-Rochester, NY) to provide metropolitan dark fiber in several cities in the U.S. Per the agreement, Cable & Wireless will lease 24 fiber strands on AFS rings, ranging from 50 to 75 miles in length. In addition, Cable & Wireless has purchased Acterna's (Germantown, MD) ANT-10Gig test solution, including hardware and customized training and support for the U.S. and Australian markets. The contract includes 24 ANT-10Gig analyzers for New York, Washington, DC, and Miami.

Astral Point Communications Inc. (Chelmsford, MA) has chosen NetAdvantage Inc. (Elk Grove Village, IL) as the preferred provider of optical-network planning tools to be used in designing and implementing optical networks for Astral Point customers. According to the company, NetAdvantage's optical planning tools are designed to enable customers to reduce costs, central office floor space, and power requirements by optimizing equipment configuration and traffic routing.

Qwest Communications International Inc. (Denver, CO) has successfully completed initial testing of Tellium Inc.'s (Oceanport, NJ) 10-Gbit/sec network interfaces in Tellium's Aurora optical switch.

Hitachi Telecom Inc. (Norcross, GA) has signed a multiyear, $40-million contract with Norlight Telecommunications (Brookfield, WI) to provide optical-networking solutions, including its advanced multiservice network (AMN) 6100 DWDM equipment and its AMN 4100 transmux system. Norlight Telecommunications will also use Hitachi Telecom's accompanying network element management system.

FiberNet Telecom Group Inc. (New York) has been selected to build and operate a "Meet-Me-Room" (MMR) at 60 Hudson St., a telecommunications carrier hotel in New York City. The MMR offers companies who have been unable to obtain space a small presence at the carrier hotel. They will have access to more than 50 communications providers.

APA Optics Inc. (Minneapolis) has received a repeat order for its 16-channel, 50-GHz-spacing DWDM components. The order is for 21 units and represents the largest dollar value DWDM order the company has received to date.

OPNET Technologies Inc. (Bethesda, MD) and Belgium-based software company Comsof will create a joint venture to deliver software for optical-network design and planning. The joint venture, based in Belgium, will include investments from both Comsof and OPNET, who will gain exclusive rights to key Comsof intellectual property, including the new WDM NetDesign software. In addition, carrier network solutions provider Ilotron Ltd. (Kent, UK) and OPNET have announced a joint development that will incorporate OPNET's NetBiz software into Ilotron's network solution.

Electro Rent Corp. (Van Nuys, CA) has chosen NetTest's (Hopkinton, MA) portable CMA4000 OTDR and FD440 chromatic-dispersion measurement system to meet its outside plant fiber-optic testing needs.

Metro-Optix (Dallas) has selected a suite of Agere Systems's (Allentown, PA) networking ICs, SoCs, and optoelectronic components for use in Metro-Optix's CityStream platform. The CityStream will include Agere's TADM/TSOT, SuperMapper, APC/ASX, custom ASICs, and optical transponders and tran-sceivers.

Charter Communications (St. Louis, MO) has committed to a purchase agreement for several hundred thousand kilometers of Corning Inc.'s (Corning, NY) MetroCor fiber. Charter Communications began deployment as of the first quarter of 2001 and expects completion of the network by fourth quarter 2002. Corning Cable Systems is the primary hardware supplier for the project.

SDN Communications (Sioux Falls, SD) has selected ONI Systems' (San Jose) ONLINE11000 regional transport platform for deployment in more than 30 cities spanning more than 2,000-route-miles between Rapid City, Aberdeen, and Sioux Falls. ONI and SDH have entered a contractual agreement that provides for product shipments beginning this quarter and is valued at $8 million for the first two ring deployments.

Valdor Fiber Optics Inc. (San Jose) has signed a supplier agreement, valued at more than $3 million, with a European manufacturer of optical-networking solutions for metro users and service providers. Per the agreement, Valdor will provide key passive optical components for use in WDM solutions.

World Wide Packets (Spokane, WA) has announced the newest additions to its LightningEdge solution for multiunit (MxU) residential and commercial markets. Its new Ethernet-to-the-subscriber solution includes the LE-30 series access portal, the LE-210 access concentrator, the LE-3700 access distributor, and the LightningEdge network supervisor.

The University of New Hampshire's Interoperability Lab (IOL-Durham, NH) successfully completed a multivendor MPLS testing period, focusing on the IETF's specification for Label Distribution Protocol. Participating companies included Agilent Technologies, Alcatel, Avici Systems, Cisco Systems, Data Connection, GN Nettest, NetPlane Systems, Network Associates, Spirent Communications, Unisphere Networks, and Virata.

The Resiliant Packet Ring (RPR) Alliance has announced its commitment to the development of an RPR technology standard via the IEEE 802.17 Working Group. A non-profit organization, the Alliance will promote the adoption of a standard for LANs, MANs, and WANs by educating the networking industry about RPR technology and the benefits of an IEEE standard and encouraging vendor interoperability. Principal members include Alidian Networks, AuroraNetics, Cisco Systems, Corrigent Systems, Cyras Systems, Dynarc, Lantern Communications, Luminous Networks, Mindspeed Technologies, Nortel Networks, Riverstone Networks, and Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. Avaya Communication is a participating member.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA-Arlington, VA) has published a new standard, "Detail Specification for Class IVa Dispersion-Unshifted Singlemode Optical Fibers with Low Water Peak," TIA/EIA-492CAAB. The specification applies to a subcategory of a Class IVa fiber, termed "low water peak" fiber, and enables end users and manufacturers of fiber-optic cable to specify the choice of singlemode fiber contained in the cable.

ADC (Minneapolis, MN) has joined Cisco Systems Inc.'s (San Jose) Professional Services Partner (PSP) program, designed to help enterprise, service provider, and small/medium customers keep up with the rapidly changing business environment. As a member of the program, ADC will provide such services as engineering, furnish and installation, program and product management, and commissioning of equipment.

Fiber Instrument Sales Inc. (FIS-Oriskany, NY) has announced that its fiber-optic and LAN training classes are now recognized by Business Industry Consulting Services International (BICSI). BICSI will grant six continuing education credits (CECs) for FIS' LAN class, good toward its LAN specialty program. BICSI will also award six CECs for FIS' fiber-optic class toward its telecommunication installers program.

Fiber Technologies LLC (Rochester, NY) has changed its name to Fibertech Networks LLC, which it believes better reflects its mission to build and operate metro networks as a carrier's carrier. The company plans to have networks operational in a minimum of 15 cities by the first quarter of 2002.

Corning Cable Systems (Hickory, NY) has created a new business group, Optical Manufacturing Services (OMS), created to provide OEM customers with a full range of optically focused contract manufacturing services, from supply-chain management to product manufacture through final product testing.

Optical-networking components developer Lumera Corp. (Bothell, WA) has completed a $24-million round of financing, led by Cisco Systems Inc. (San Jose). Additional in vest ors include The Barksdale Group, Acorn Ventures, WRF Capital, former CEO of XO Communications and Lumera board member Wayne Perry, Qualcomm co-founder and former vice chairman Andrew Viterbi, Microvision board member Margaret Elardi, and a group of angel investors.

Facilities-based integrated communications provider BTI Telecom Corp. (Raleigh, NC) has closed a previously announced $90-million financing commitment from Welsh, Carson, Anderson, and Stowe (WCAS). The round consists of $40 million in equity financing and $50 million in debt financing. In addition to the WCAS funding, BTI has closed on transactions with GE Capital Corp., Bank of America, and Export Development Corp. to refinance and extend $89 million in existing credit facilities. BTI plans to use the financing to support sales growth and for general working capital purposes.

K2 Optronics Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA) has received $29 million in second round venture capital financing, bringing its total to nearly $40 million. Bessemer Venture Partners led the round, which also included Global Technology Group and Intel Capital, among others. The new funds are earmarked for product development and manufacturing expansion, say company representatives.

Optical component supplier TeraXion (Quebec City, Canada) has closed a $15-million first round of financing, led by Wynnchurch Capital. Other participants include Sumitomo Corp. Group, Robertson Stephens, Business Development Bank of Canada, Innovatech Quebec, and Royal Bank Capital Partners. TeraXion will use the proceeds to further develop key R&D projects and increase its manufacturing capacity.

Blaze Network Products Inc. (Dublin, CA) has added two additional strategic in vestors in its coarse WDM technology-Motorola Ventures and Hon Hai Precision Industry. The total investment is undisclosed and is the last part of a larger round of funding announced last November.

Onix Microsystems Inc. (Richmond, CA), developer of optically transparent switching engines, has secured $70 million in equity and debt financing in its third round of funding. Led by JK&B Capital, the round also included investments from Alliance Select Investors, Essex Private Placement Fund, Millennium Technology Ventures, Randolph Street Partners, Sinwave Venture Capital Ltd., Trust Co. of the West, and Zimmer Lucas Partners, among others. In addition, Onix has secured a $20-million equipment loan agreement with Western Technology Investments, Silicon Valley Bank, and GATX Ventures Inc.

Europe

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Camarillo, CA) has agreed to acquire Exbit Technology A/S (Herlev, Denmark), a fabless semiconductor company that develops high-speed chipsets and intellectual property cores. Vitesse will issue approximately 4.4 million shares of its common stock in exchange for all outstanding Exbit common stock.

GSI Lumonics (Maple Grove, MN) and Melles Griot (Cambridgeshire, U.K.) have announced a partnership to supply laser micro-welding equipment to fiber-optic component manufacturers. The joint solution will combine GSI Lumonics' Nd:YAG lasers for laser welding applications, its process expertise, and its systems integration skills with Melles Griot's expertise in nano-positioning, machine vision, and vibration isolation.

ADVA Optical Networking (Munich) has announced a field trial to implement its 32-channel DWDM Fiber Service Platform (FSP) 3000 in MANs. The FSP 3000 will be installed by system integrator Quante Netzwerke GmbH (Hannover, Germany) in a three-node ring network operated by Hannoversche Telekomunikations-und Netzgesellschaft mbH (Hannover).

French cable operator NOOS (Paris) has deployed Juniper Networks' (Sunnyvale, CA) M-series routers in its key points-of-presence in Paris and Nanterre, France. The Juniper routers in the NOOS backbone are connected together using Gigabit Ethernet and OC-12/STM-4 interfaces.

Bigback Solutions (Galway, Ireland), provider of Collaborative Product Commerce software solutions, has signed a value-added reseller agreement with software systems integrator Verid Technology Corp. (Boston). The agreement is effective immediately and will be supported by joint training, deployment, sales, and marketing activities.

Fiber Optic Network Solutions (FONS) Corp. (Northboro, MA) has signed a license agreement with British Telecommunications plc (BT-London) to integrate BT's patented technology to further enable its high-volume production of fused products.

Deutsche Telekom (Hannover) has selected Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) to supply its WaveStar OLS 400G and WaveStar ADM 16/1 transmission systems for use in Deutsche Telekom's Telekom Global Net backbone. Terms of the multiyear contract are not disclosed. Telekom Global Net will extend from Germany to Austria, the Netherlands, the U.K., France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, and Eastern European countries. An SDH network is also being built in the U.S. and Canada.

France Telecom (Paris) has agreed to test Atrica Inc.'s (Santa Clara, CA) optical Ethernet solution at its R&D facilities in Issy-Les-Moulineaux and Lannion, France, and in an R&D facility in Redwood City, CA.

FLAG Telecom (London) will collaborate with Verizon Communications (New York) on the development and use of Verizon's recently announced European backbone network, expected to begin serving London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, and Brussels in the second half of 2001. Per the agreement, Verizon will purchase certain European dark fiber and collocation facilities owned by FLAG Telecom. Verizon will own, operate, and manage the city-to-city backbone network, while FLAG Telecom will provide and manage its own IP layer and collocation space for its customers.

South America

Embratel (Rio de Janeiro) has selected Tellabs' (Lisle, IL) MartisDXX managed access platform to expand and enhance its telecommunications network in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Campinas, Brazil. In addition to the MartisDXX system, the network in Campinas will also include Tellabs' FOCUS transport system.

360networks (Vancouver, British Columbia) has completed and lit a 2,000-mile segment of its undersea network in Latin America between Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro. In addition, 360networks has completed sales totaling more than $475 million to major carriers and service providers for services on its undersea networks, including 360atlantic, 360americas, 360asia, and 360pacific, as well as on its North American network.

Asia

Wireless optical-networking equipment developer AirFiber Inc. (San Diego, CA) has entered into an agreement with telecommunications integrator Phitech Corp. (Taipei, Taiwan), whereby Phitech will distribute AirFiber's OptiMesh equipment to telecommunications carriers operating in Taiwan.

Marconi plc (London) has won contracts from four provincial operators owned by China Unicom Ltd. (Beijing), including Shanghai, Guangdong, Anhui, and Fujian, who, between them, have purchased solutions worth $35 million. A fifth provincial operator, Ningxia Telecom, part of China Telecom (Beijing), has bought Marconi SDH equipment to develop its network.

Researchers at the National Institute for Research in Inorganic Materials (Japan) are successfully growing 3-inch-diameter boules of single-crystal stoichiometric LiNbO3 and LiTaO3 and have commercialized the supply via a spinout company, Oxide Corp. (Yamanashi, Japan).

africa · middle east · australia

IP1, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amcom Telecommunications Ltd. (Sydney, Australia) has selected Marconi plc (Pittsburgh) as its sole supplier to provide a high-speed optical-fiber network link between the west and east coast of Australia. Per the agreement, Marconi will supply its SmartPhotoniX DWDM equipment for the 3,875-km link between Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. IP1 will manage the network.

Tellabs (Lisle, IL) will assist the Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) with the migration of its analog voice and data services to a digital network that supports high-speed Internet access, video connections, and virtual private networks. As part of STC's network expansion program, STC and its integration partner, Baud Telecom Co., will deploy Tellabs' MartisDXX broadband access and FOCUS optical-networking solutions.

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