In Brief

Agere Systems is selling much of its optoelectronics business to TriQuint Semiconductor for USD40m in cash. The transaction excludes Agere’s cable television transmission systems components business, for which it is still seeking a buyer.

In Q4/2002, Agere’s revenues were USD529m, down 5.5% on the June quarter and 12% on a year ago. The fall was mainly due to poor optoelectronics performance, the company confirmed.

Finisar is selling or transferring parts of its Sensors Unlimited subsidiary for USD6.1m to a new company formed by the latter’s management group. Finisar will retain a minority interest and retain ownership of all of Sensors’ intellectual property. Finisar’s manufacturing and development activities for PIN diodes and avalanche photodiodes will transfer internally. Finisar has also cut its US staff again and closed a facility.

Lancier Monitoring GmbH began operations in Germany in September with 23 former employees of Peter Lancier GmbH & Co. KG, which recently announced insolvency. The new company will develop monitoring systems for fibre-optic and copper cables, as well as pressurisation equipment. “This business unit was profitable in the old enterprise,” said general manager Detlef Maertin.

Network security developer NetScreen Technologies Inc has established a number of new offices in the EMEA region. Further to its UK office, there are new bases in Paris, Nuremberg, Antwerp, Prague, Tel Aviv, and Dubai.

Highwave Optical Technologies, Lannion, France, has sold its thinfilm business to Cilas, also based in France. The companies signed an agreement on 30 September to transfer 100% of HighWave Optical Technologies Marseille’s shares to the benefit of Cilas.

“This sale is in keeping with our strategy to concentrate on our core business: fibres, fibre Bragg gratings and optical amplifiers,” said Eric Delevaque, chairman and CEO.

Storage vendors show no signs of slowing down or limiting their innovation despite the current period of buyer uncertainty, according to market analyst IDC, London.

The underlying case for consolidation is contrasted by the “vibrant activity” by venture capital into storage startups. On the demand side, end-users continue to predict double-digit annual capacity growth, although spending is clearly down.

Amherst FiberOptics, Nashville, TN, USA, and Stockholm, Sweden, ceased operations at the end of September. The reasons for the shut-down were “due in part to the dramatic downturn in the fibre-optics market.” The parent company, TVC Communications has no plans to extend the employment of any senior management.

Opto Speed, a developer and manufacturer of InP-based optoelectronic components, based in Ruschlikon, Switzerland, is entering a distribution agreement with EL-GEV Electronics, an Israeli distributor of electronic and optoelectronic components and subassemblies.

The China Telecom 2003 conference, organised by Information Gatekeepers Inc and the Pacific Telecommunications Council, will take place at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on 17–18 January 2003. The theme of the conference is “Broadband and the New Competitive Landscape.”

Alcatel Optronics, JDS Uniphase, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC Corp , Oki Electric and Sumitomo/Excelight have joined the DWDM Pluggable Transceiver multi-source agreement (MSA) and will supply devices that conform to the specification defined by the MSA. The MSA establishes a standard for 2.5Gbit/s DWDM pluggable transceivers.

The Optics Group of Bristol University’s Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, UK, has taken delivery of the first Anritsu 43.5Gbit/s Bit Error Rate Test (BERT) system sold in the UK. A grant of over EUR600,000 from Anritsu’s Philanthropy Programme has supported the purchase of the ME7750A.

France Telecom’s board of directors has appointed Thierry Breton, chairman of electronics company Thomson Multimedia SA, as chairman and CEO. Chairman and CEO Michel Bon resigned in September after first-half 2002 produced “the best operating performance in France Telecom’s history but provisions that led to a historic loss,” said a spokesman.

After dropping from USD135m in 2000 to USD101m in 2001, global consumption of OADMs will surge to USD1.03bn in 2006, according to ElectroniCast Corp’s chairman and founder Jeff D Montgomery in its Optical Add/ Drop Mutiplexer Systems and Fiber Optic Component Rapid Reaction Report. Reconfigurable OADMs held a minor share in 2001 but will grow more rapidly than any other type, reaching 45% by 2006.”

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