Industry Update

hot off the press

Maxcom Telecomunicaciones SA de CV (Mexico City), a facilities-based telecommunications provider in the Mexican territory, announced the acquisition of two fiber strands in a 2,011-km fiber-optic backbone. The capacity was acquired from Bestel DA de CV (Mexico City) for $10.9 million and covers the main cities from Mexico City to Laredo, TX, including the United States-Mexico border crossing. Maxcom launched commercial operations in May 1999 and currently offers local, long-distance, and data services in Mexico City and Puebla, Mexico.

north america

·Neopolitan Networks (Palo Alto, CA) announced delivery of low-latency, high-bandwidth Internet connectivity in Santa Clara, CA, over a hybrid fiber-optic and wireless solution running throughout the city. Connections start at 1 Mbit/sec and can scale to 100 Mbits/sec over an end-to-end burstable Ethernet network optimized for data traffic.

·Overture Networks (Research Triangle Park, NC), a developer of multiservice products for delivery of voice and data services over metro Ethernet/IP networks, completed its second round of financing. The $15-million round was led by new investor Morgenthaler Ventures and includes first-time investments from Armada Ventures and Intersouth Partners. Overture's technology enables carriers to build a network that generates new revenues from high-speed packet services while preserving the revenue of traditional voice, data, and video services.

·Essex (Columbia, MD), a manufacturer of ultra-dense WDM products, announced that Telcordia Technologies (Morristown, NJ) is using an Essex 6.25-GHz hyperfine WDM device to complement its multiwavelength laser technology envisioned to enhance the spectral efficiency of existing metro and enterprise optical networks. According to some industry analysts, Essex is the only company selling sub-25-GHz WDM multiplexers and demultiplexers as well as multiport interleaving devices.

·Broadwing (Cincinnati) announced an agreement with Greenberg Traurig, a full-service law firm, to use Broadwing's MultiConnect service as a WAN connecting all Greenberg offices nationwide. MultiConnect provides a distance-insensitive, protocol-agnostic, secure, point-to-multipoint solution using Broadwing's all-optical switched network. The service is scalable and resilient for seamlessly connecting up to 28 remote locations for a flat monthly fee.

·Srico (Columbus, OH) was awarded a $100,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to develop photonic bandgap optical-waveguide structures in electro-optic substrates. Srico is a technology development company specializing in optical ICs and optoelectronic subsystems for sensors, test instrumentation, telecommunications, and patient monitoring. The grant enables Srico to pursue research and development on next-generation photonic-waveguide components for high-speed telecom networks and medical devices.

·OpNext (Eatontown, NJ) announced the transfer of the opto-device division of Hitachi's (Tokyo) semiconductor and IC business to OpNext. The opto-device division designs, manufactures, and sells devices and modules for the access communications, fiber-optic backbone, and metro markets. The addition was made to strengthen and expand OpNext's position in the optical-component market by securing a line of high-power lasers at lower cost.

·APA Optics (Blaine, MN) expanded its product offerings for the fiber-optic product business through a focus on the passive-optical-network (PON) market segment of the larger optical-networking component market. APA's PON product includes a family of passive splitters based on both fiber and planar-waveguide technologies. Additional products are being defined based on a range of technologies, including planar waveguides, fiber optics, thin-film coatings, and precision optics.

·Corvis (Columbia, MD) established a subsidiary, Corvis Government Solutions, to provide optical-networking solutions and services to the federal government marketplace. The company also announced the formation of the subsidiary's technical advisory boards and made an initial sale to the U.S. government for its next-generation optical-networking products. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

·OMM (San Diego), a micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based optical-switch manufacturer, was awarded four patents by the U.S. Patent Office for innovations in MEMS photonic switching. The patents cover micro-machined optical-switching devices, matrix switches, and collimator designs for two-dimensional MEMS devices. OMM is expanding its product portfolio to include a new generation of waveguide management and switching products based on MEMS and planar lightwave circuits.

·EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering (Quebec City) completed its previously announced acquisition of the assets of gnubi communications LP (Addison, TX), a supplier of multichannel telecom and datacom testing solutions for system manufacturers. In September, EXFO agreed to purchase substantially all assets of gnubi in a stock-and-cash transaction ranging between $4.3 million and $7.2 million, depending on sales volume in the next 12 months. Following the closing of the deal, about 1.5 million shares were issued to gnubi.

· Newly formed Sensors Unlimited (Princeton, NJ), a provider of solutions based on indium gallium arsenide technology, will purchase certain assets and accept certain liabilities from Finisar's (Sunnyvale, CA) Sensors Unlimited subsidiary for $6.1 million. The subsidiary's existing management team and employees will remain in place at the new company, which assumed the name of the subsidiary. Finisar retains the high-speed avalanche and PIN photodetector product lines and technology. However, Sensors Unlimited gains a royalty-free license to use this technology in areas such as military and free-space communications.

·Cox Communications (Atlanta) deployed an optical Ethernet solution from Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario) to deliver high-speed Internet access, virtual LANs, and other metro Ethernet services to its enterprise customers. Cox deployed Nortel's OPTera Metro 3500 multiservice platform, a next-generation SONET device incorporating resilient-packet-ring (RPR) technology, in San Diego. Four backbone RPR rings will provide Cox with an optical Ethernet packet network covering much of metropolitan San Diego. Nortel also announced a multiyear amendment agreement with SBC Services, an affiliate of SBC Communications (San Antonio, TX), for the purchase of Nortel's OPTera Metro 5100 multiservice platform.

·Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) announced the successful completion of interoperability testing with IBM (Armonk, NY) between Lucent's Metropolis enhanced optical-networking, a metro DWDM solution, and the IBM eServer parallel sysplex and geographically dispersed parallel sysplex environments. The combination of storage technology with metro optical DWDM systems enables service providers to support local storage networks by connecting facilities separated by great distances.

·Cogent Communications Group (Washington, DC) has upgraded the U.S. PSINet data centers, which are located in Los Angeles, New York City, and Herndon, VA. Each center will provide rack space and connectivity to Cogent's dedicated all-optical Internet transit service. Connections will be available at $30/Mbit for 100- and 1,000-Mbit/sec speeds.

· Six more companies joined the DWDM pluggable-transceiver multisource agreement (MSA) formed by Agilent Technologies (Palo Alto, CA), Nortel Networks (Brampton, ON), and Agere Systems (Allentown, PA) last June. The MSA establishes a standard that specifies uniformity for OC-48 (2.5-Gbit/sec) DWDM pluggable-transceiver package outlines, PIN function definitions, software interface, and electrical characteristics. The new members are Alcatel Optronics (Paris), JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA), Mitsubishi Electric (Cypress, CA), NEC (Herndon, VA), Oki Electric (Milpitas, CA), and Sumitomo/ExceLight (Durham, NC).

europe

·Eurotunnel (Kent, UK), the operator of the Channel Tunnel, completed the installation of Acterna's (Germantown, MD) optical-network management system (ONMS). The system provides 24-hour network monitoring of 300 miles of optical cable across the English Channel. The ONMS enables Eurotunnel to quickly identify and locate problems in the network to repair faults on submerged cables.

·Tandberg Television Systems AS (Oslo), a provider of open solutions for digital broadcasting and broadband, is working with Cisco Systems (San Jose, CA) to deliver television-over-IP fiber solutions to operators in Italy and Norway. Tandberg's carrier-class iTTV broadband delivery platform will operate alongside Cisco's metro Ethernet broadband access network to enable Italian operator Fastweb (Milan, Italy) and Norwegian utility company Lyse (Stavanger, Norway) to deliver broadcast TV and video on demand over their broadband networks.

·Level (3) Communications (Broomfield, CO) completed the expansion of its network into seven new European cities: Geneva, Zurich, Madrid, Milan, Stockholm, and Karlsruhe and Koln, Germany. Level (3)'s existing two-ring network in Europe spans 3,600 miles, connecting multiconduit metropolitan networks in London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, and Berlin. ONTAP, Level (3)'s proprietary Web-based customer network management and service provisioning system, will be extended to cover the new markets.

·ADVA Optical Networking AG (Martinsried/Munich, Germany), an optical solutions provider, announced that its fiber service platform (FSP) products were successfully tested by Hitachi Data Systems (Mahwah, NJ) for replication of Fibre Channel storage traffic over record distances through optical fiber. The testing proved that deployment of ADVA's FSP products at remote data centers increases the transmission distance of mission-critical storage data by DWDM transport from 50 to 185 km.

·Band-X (London) was awarded a multimillion-pound contract by Scottish Enterprise (Glasgow) to offer its IP transit-trading platform to the Scottish market. The contract is part of Scottish Enterprise's Project ATLAS, set to deliver increased broadband links to businesses across Scotland. The project, dubbed the Telecoms Trading Exchange (TTE), runs for at least three years and involves Band-X building and operating the facility to promote and sell IP transit services to Scottish wholesale customers. The new TTE will be based in Scolocate, Edinburgh.

·Azzurri Technology GmbH (Munich), a European technical component distribution group, signed a sales and distribution agreement with West Bay Semiconductor (Vancouver, British Columbia), which markets advanced SDH/SONET channelized and virtual concatenation chips. Azzurri will represent and sell West Bay products in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

· European fiber-optic network operator, LambdaNet Communications GmbH (Hannover, Germany), completed a credit facility contract worth 64 million euros. Additionally, LambdaNet's parent company, LNG Holdings SA (Luxembourg and Germany), will provide 15 million euros of equity to LambdaNet in connection with the facility. LambdaNet's business plan includes marketing the company's extensive 22,000-km network and advanced IP services to carriers in the Americas as well as Austria, the Czech Republic, and Denmark.

·Highwave Optical Technologies (Lannion, France) a European supplier of DWDM subsystems, announced the sale of its thin-film-coating activities to CILAS (Marcoussis, France), a developer of laser and laser-based systems for France's Ministry of Defense, the Atomic Energy Commission, and other scientific and industry-related programs. Highwave plans to refocus on its core business of fiber, Bragg networks, and optical amplifiers.

·Deutsche Telekom (Bonn, Germany) and Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) expanded and extended an existing contract for optical transmission technology until the end of next year. Deutsche Telekom also confirmed Lucent as a supplier for optical-networking technology for its worldwide transmission network. The one-year contract extension introduces new products, including Lucent's LambdaUnite multiservice switch (MSS), into the Deutsche Telekom network. Developed by Bell Labs, the LambdaUnite MSS bridges traffic between data-intense metro networks and high-speed optical core networks.

·Bookham Technology plc (Oxfordshire, UK) entered into an agreement to acquire the optical-transmitter/receiver and optical-amplifier business of Nortel Networks (Brampton, Ontario). As part of the deal, Nortel Networks Ltd., a subsidiary of Nortel, agreed to enter into a $120-million supply agreement with Bookham.

·Transmode Systems AB (Stockholm), a developer of CWDM technology systems, secured $8 million in third-round financing. The new funding will be used to develop new features on existing product and expand the global sales organization. Leading the round were existing investors Amadeus Capital Partners and European Equity Partners.

·France Telecom (Paris) announced the selection of Atrica (Santa Clara, CA) optical Ethernet system for deployment of metro services in the Paris region. Using the Atrica system, France Telecom is evaluating new service offerings geared toward enterprise clients. The Ethernet services are focused on high-bandwidth Internet access, Ethernet leased lines, and transparent LAN services.

asia

·3C TAE YANG (Seoul) inked an agreement with Opto Speed (Ruschlikon, Switzerland) for the distribution and representation of the Opto Speed product portfolio in South Korea. Opto Speed, a 1995 spinoff of the Institute of Quantum Electronics in Zurich, develops indium phosphide-based optoelectronic components. The company processes III-V compounds and hopes to help drive the trend toward the integration of high-value-added optical modules.

·Lucent Technologies (Murray Hill, NJ) completed the sale of its two joint ventures in China—Lucent Technologies Shanghai Fiber Optic Co. and Lucent Technologies Beijing Fiber Optic Cable Co.—to Corning (Corning, NY). Concluding a transaction originally announced last July, Corning will pay Lucent up to $225 million. The Shanghai venture makes optical fiber and the Beijing operation makes fiber cable.

·Primanex (Fremont, CA) established a joint venture company, Primanex China, by collaborating with China's Zhao Jin Group, a gold-mining enterprise. The multimillion-dollar venture provides Primanex with a scalable production capacity for its Magneto-Optic technology platform. Primanex China is expected to begin shipping products in the first quarter of next year.

africa · middle east · australia

·GalayOr Networks (Lod, Israel), developer of on-chip integrated micro-optical components and packaging solutions, has announced a development partnership with Colibrys SA (Neuchâtel, Switzerland), Europe's largest independent manufacturer of silicon MEMS and micro-optical components. Under terms of the collaboration, Colibrys will fabricate GalayOr's MEMS SOI waveguide-based products in its manufacturing unit. The first of such products will be a compact variable optical attenuator integrated with electronic circuitry.

·EL-GEV Electronics (Air-port City,Israel) signed an agreement to distribute Opto Speed's (Ruschlikon, Switzerland) family of high-speed lasers, photodetectors, monolithically integrated PIN/TIA/post-amplifier optical frontends, semiconductor optical amplifiers, and super luminescent LEDs. The products will be distributed regionally in Israel by the EL-GEV sales and application support organization.

More in Transport