In Brief

Pan-European fibre network service provider Interoute, London, has signed a three-year partnership agreement with technology services company Dimension Data to deliver fully managed network solutions to large multi-site enterprises in Europe. .Their aim is to tightly integrate each party's services and create network solutions that offer better levels of wide- and local-area service and functionality. "Dimension Data and Interoute believe the enterprise market will be better served by partnerships between network service providers and IT service providers," said Russell Bolan, UK CEO of Dimension Data.

UK integrated optical component and subsystem supplier Bookham Technology has sold its Canada-based R&D subsidiary Measurement Microsystems A-Z to a company backed by its former management. Bookham has retained a 25% shareholding and will continue to use its patented optoelectronic technology. This follows Bookham's announcement in February that it was to discontinue development efforts and close the operation. The disposal represents under 1% of Bookham's net assets.

FlexLight Networks has received USD1.5m from the Office of the Chief Scientist (the R&D arm of the Israeli Ministry of Trade) for development of its optical access technology.

Erbium doped waveguide amplifier manufacturer Teem Photonics of Grenoble, France has acquired the technology of Minneapolis-based former competitor Northstar Photonics. Teem will receive a series of patents and applications, including their derivatives, as well as trademarks and technological know-how.

Memscap, Grenoble, is acquiring most of the business and assets of JDS Uniphase's Cronos MEMS unit (a spin-off of MCNC before acquisition by JDSU in April 2000). Memscap will be the exclusive supplier to JDSU of MEMS chips for at least three years. Memscap expects technical and operating efficiencies through integration of Cronos into its.manufacturing facility in Bernin.

LightPointe says its carrier-class Flight free-space optics (FSO) gear is being deployed by service provider Red Spectrum to provide Ethernet and Gigabit connectivity to businesses in London that are underserved by incumbents. Red Spectrum says that, using roof-mounted FSO technology, it can deliver burstable bandwidth in London from 1Mbit/s to 1Gbit/s in just 48 hours.

After co-operating since 1995, Hamburg-based Pandatel is supplying Alcatel with 90 customised TDM-based asynchronous FM multiplexers for its ESTW L90 railway signal boxes, providing data transmission that is both efficient and redundant for signals between the individual railway stations and the central signaling office (see Germany focus on pages 27–35).

Anritsu and Fujikura are co-developing Raman optical amplifier systems for applications in 10 and 40Gbit/s long- and ultra-long-haul DWDM optical transmission systems. Fujikura is designing and developing the Raman Amplifier; Anritsu is supplying the 14XXnm pump lasers. Early customer samples from August 2002.

The Czech government is selling its 51% stake in the country's leading fixed-line telecoms operator Cesky Telecom for EUR1.82bn — a 26% premium over the market price. The buyer is a consortium of Germany's Deutsche Bank and Denmark's TDC. Cesky Telecom operates almost 4m fixed lines. The agreement requires the parties to hold on to the assets and shares for three years and retain Cesky Telecom's key role in providing services in the Czech Republic.

Bankrupt Global Crossing cancelled a public auction for 14 August after accepting a joint purchase bid which gives Hutchison Telecommunications and Singapore Technologies Telemedia 61.5% of its equity on emerging from Chapter 11 in return for USD300m in cash and about USD200m in notes. Global's banks, owed USD2.55bn, will get the USD300m cash, USD175m of the notes and 6% of the equity. Bondholders, owed USD10bn, will get USD25m in notes and 32.5% equity. Existing shareholders get nothing.

Swedish operator Telia's EUR4.7bn takeover of Finnish counterpart Sonera was delayed from August to September pending approval from US regulators, as the US Securities and Exchange Commission is taking longer than expected to review the offering documents. The European Commission gave conditional approval in mid-July.

France Telecom researchers have developed an unprecedented software application that transforms PDAs equipped with a miniature camera into full-fledged mobile videophone devices. This means users can set up a wireless video contact between two pocket PCs, such as a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). This "world premier" makes it possible for the first time to easily establish direct connections between two people at remote locations without any wiring, claims FT.

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