Optisphere, Alidian Team Up

Alidian lands $50 million OEM deal by which Siemens spinoff Optisphere will market metro networking boxes

May 16, 2001

2 Min Read
Optisphere, Alidian Team Up

Optisphere Networks Inc., the Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE) spinoff, has signed an agreement to resell metropolitan access gear made by Alidian Networks Inc., Light Reading has learned. The deal, which both companies confirmed today, will include the purchase of Alidian's OSN 4200 and OSN 4800 multiservice add/drop multiplexers and is valued at roughly $50 million.

Optisphere plans to buy the Alidian gear and then resell it under its own private label, the name of which hasn't yet been determined. Optisphere already sells ultralong-haul DWDM (dense wavelength-division multiplexing), optical crossconnect, and metro transport gear.

San Jose, Calif.-based Alidian says its products are in trials with several carriers, but Optisphere is only the third customer that the firm has announced. Korea Internet Neutral Exchange Center, an outfit formed by 13 Korean Internet Service Providers, and Aevia Inc., a competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in Walnut Creek, Calif., have also bought Alidian gear.

Alidian’s decision to produce hardware that's marketed under another company's brand is a unique one amongst optical equipment concerns. For its part, Alidian says large carriers would probably buy gear from, say, a Siemens company sooner than from a little-known startup. The firm's executives, several of whom hail from Premisys Communications (now Zhone Technologies Inc.), have a good deal of experience and success with such a behind-the-scenes business model.

"When you look at Lucent Technologies Inc.’s [NYSE: LU] purchase of Chromatis and Sycamore Networks Inc.’s [Nasdaq: SCMR] purchase of Sirocco, it seems they moved too quickly in deciding what technology to use in the metro space," says Robert M. Lefkowits, vice president of marketing at Alidian. "Our customers get to test out the market without either side having to make a huge bet."

- Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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