Are Tellium and NEC up to Something?

NEC backpeddles after saying it's going to launch a sub-wavelength grooming switch at Supercomm

March 21, 2002

2 Min Read
Are Tellium and NEC up to Something?

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Some furious back-peddling occurred on the show floor of the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibit (OFC) yesterday concerning possible plans by Tellium Inc. (Nasdaq: TELM) to develop a sub-wavelength grooming switch in collaboration with NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY)

It all started when C. David Broecker, marketing VP for the public networks group of NEC America Inc., waxed a little lyrical about the co-marketing and co-development agreement his company had with Tellium (see Tellium, NEC to Co-Develop).

Broecker told Light Reading that the arrangement now went beyond integrating NEC’s transport systems with Tellium’s switch in order to eliminate transponders. A sub-wavelength switch, one that would compete with the CoreDirector from Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), was now under development and the results would be unveiled at the Supercomm trade show next June.

The prospect of the joint development being available for Light Reading’s planned test of sub-wavelength grooming switches (see Light Reading Announces Switch Test) was discussed in the presence of a Tellium representative who didn’t deny the existence of the joint project.

If Tellium was developing a sub-wavelength grooming switch it would create quite a stir. Up until now, it’s been something of the odd one out among optical switch manufacturers because its Aurora family of switches handles whole wavelengths. It doesn’t provide a way of packing the wavelengths with smaller connections in the way that sub-wavelength grooming switches do -- something that's become popular with carriers.

When asked about a possible joint project with NEC to develop a sub-wavelength grooming switch, Grace Carr, Tellium’s VP of marketing, chose her words carefully. She told Light Reading "there are no concrete plans" to do this -- which appears to rule out something being on show at Supercomm in a few months' time. She went on to speculate that if NEC was planning to unveil such a switch at Supercomm, then it might be its own development.

Soon afterwards, a spokesperson for NEC left a voice mail message for Light Reading saying there’d been a misunderstanding and that whatever Tellium’s Carr said was the official position.

So, that’s cleared up that little mystery, eh?

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.comFor more information on OFC 2002, please visit:

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