September 8, San Jose, CA -- JDS Uniphase today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Agility Communications, provider of widely tunable laser solutions for the optical network. According to JDS Uniphase representatives, the acquisition establishes its leadership in the rapidly growing market for tunable lasers and transponders, and positions the company as the broadest end-to-end agile optical network portfolio provider in the marketplace.
Agility Communications is privately held with approximately 90 employees and headquarters in Santa Barbara, CA. The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the quarter ending December 2005. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
"Tunability has become a mandatory requirement and Ovum-RHK estimates the overall tunable transponder market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 50 percent through 2009," contends Daryl Inniss, vice president of communication components at Ovum-RHK, an industry research firm. "The DWDM transponder market is a $400 million market and is expected to grow by seven percent CAGR through 2009."
"We believe the shift to tunables is inevitable, and that the transition will be rapid," adds Mike Ricci, vice president of JDS Uniphase's Component and Modules Group. "Agility's single-chip monolithic platform is capable of addressing the entire market and is not limited to a single form factor. Agility's proven architecture, coupled with JDS Uniphase's scalable manufacturing capability, paves the way for high volume, tunable, pluggable solutions."
There are several potential benefits inherent in Agility's monolithic platform, say JDS Uniphase representatives. Unlike alternative architectures, Agility offers the only proven architecture capable of fully integrating a tunable laser with a modulator via a highly scalable semiconductor wafer process. Agility also provides the only currently accepted platform that can enable tunable 2.5-Gbit/sec SFP and 10-Gbit/sec XFP form factors, notes the company.
Migration to pluggable solutions is expected to enable vendors to enjoy significant reductions in power dissipation, footprint, and provisioning costs. The platform also offers switching speeds of less than 10 milliseconds and is less sensitive to shock and vibration than other solutions, thus enabling deployment of robust, agile optical networks.
"I believe joining JDS Uniphase will help us maximize market penetration during the transition from fixed wavelength to tunable solutions," asserts Ron Nelson, Agility's president and chief executive officer. "The acquisition gives us access to high-volume manufacturing capability and expanded sales channels. Adding Agility's tunable lasers to JDS Uniphase's family of wavelength management modules creates a one-stop shop for anyone wanting to assemble an agile optical network," he adds.
An agile optical network is an optical network that offers unparalleled reconfigurability, scalability, and robustness at the optical layer. This is intended to result in lower capital and operating expenditures while enabling next-generation services. JDS Uniphase provides what it claims is the only end-to-end portfolio of solutions needed to build and operate an agile optical network, including such scalable solutions as EDFAs, ROADMs, Multiwavelength Switches (MWS), wavelength blockers, and optical channel monitors.
On the test and measurement side, JDS Uniphase offers DWDM solutions, including optical spectrum analyzers, optical network testers, stressed-eye testers, and DWDM analyzers. The addition of tunable transponders significantly strengthens the reconfigurable aspect of JDS Uniphase's agile optical network solution, say company representatives.
Agility is already selling tunable transmitter and transponder products to top tier customers, including Siemens, Marconi, Mahi Networks, Tropic Networks, ECI, and others. Many service providers have already migrated or announced plans to move to tunable solutions for agile, optical networks, including AT&T, SBC, Deutsche Telekom, and Verizon.