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Atmosphere On The Block?

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
6/6/2000

ATLANTA--Atmosphere Networks Inc. http://www.atmospherenetworks.com has put itself up for sale, but has been having trouble finding a buyer, Light Reading sources say. "They've been on the block for a while, at least two months" says the vice-president of marketing at another optical networking startup, who spoke anonymously.

How could any optical networking outfit have trouble finding a suitor at a time when startups like Chromatis and Sirocco -- neither of which are shipping products -- have been bought for sky-high amounts?

The answer lies in Atmosphere's choice of technology. It led the charge in developing ATM VP ring networking equipment, which has become the Token Ring of the optical networking market -- outdated and unpopular (see Alex Dobrushin, from Atmosphere to Amber Networks ).

Word that the company is up for sale is given force by the fact that the company recently cancelled a media tour designed to reposition them out of the ATM VP ring market. It also cancelled its booth at the SuperComm industry trade show here in Atlanta.

The suitor that made the most sense was Advanced Fiber Communications Inc., Atmosphere's major customer. But apparently AFCI said no, according to one source in the industry.

By R. Scott Raynovich, executive editor, and Stephen Saunders, U.S. editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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