Lucent Lands LambdaRouter Deal

Global Crossing signs long-rumored deal for several of Lucent's wavelength routers; exact amount undisclosed

May 15, 2001

2 Min Read
Lucent Lands LambdaRouter Deal

Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU) announced today that it has sealed the deal with Global Crossing Ltd. (NYSE: GX) to deliver millions of dollars worth of its LambdaRouter all-optical switches. Global Crossing, Lucent’s first LambdaRouter customer since the product was announced in late 1999, will use the equipment to build a transatlantic optical network (see Lucent Ships Lambda Routers).

The LambdaRouter switches optical channels between different optical fibers without converting them to electrical signals. Lucent says its product can move up to 10 terabits of information per second.

Last month Light Reading reported that Lucent was close to finalizing its contract with Global Crossing (see Lucent Getting Lucky Abroad? ).

On the competitive front, Lucent’s Global Crossing contract is indeed a big deal. Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), has announced product trials but has no carrier contracts for its OPTera Connect PX, a switch that competes with the LambdaRouter (see Nortel 's All-Optical Switch is in Trials). Last month, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) officially killed its competitive product, the ONS 15900 Wavelength Router (see Cisco Kills Monterey Router).

Corvis, another competitor, announced that Broadwing Communications Inc. (NYSE: BRW) took delivery of its optical switch in October 2000. A recent note by the analysts at CIBC World Markets reported that Broadwing’s network “currently has more than 5 [Corvis optical] switches deployed and carrying live traffic." (See Parmelee's Patient With Corvis.)

Lucent would not say how much money is being spent on its gear, nor would it discuss how many units were being purchased. Lucent says it plans to begin installing the systems this month, with completion scheduled for the third quarter of this year.

"This is a big deal," says Gary Austin, Lucent’s general manager of its all-optical switching systems. "We needed some momentum in the switching space, especially all-optical switching, and this certainly helps."

Lucent’s LambdaRouter is also in trials with five other carriers at the moment, including two carriers in Europe, two carriers in the U.S., and one in Asia, according to souces.

Global Crossing and Corvis did not return calls before press time.

- Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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