Vivace's Vying for Customers

Startup switch maker seen with BellSouth; had trials with WorldCom... Has either company written a check?

February 4, 2003

2 Min Read
Vivace's Vying for Customers

Word is that Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) switch maker Vivace Networks has been in trials with WorldCom Inc. (OTC: WCOEQ) and may have a deal in the works with BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS). Of course, you can't always believe what you hear, but you can repeat it.

Sources close to Vivace's competitors say the startup may have convinced a carrier to buy its gear, though none of the sources can definitely name the carrier in question. Some fingered WorldCom as the buyer, but others point out that Vivace executives were recently spotted in Atlanta meeting with BellSouth brass.

When Vivace first announced its products last year, it acknowledged having shipped its gear to at least one Tier 1 carrier (see Vivace Livens Up the Edge). Since then, speculation has run the gamut, with one industry analyst saying he's seen a Vivace product in Sprint Corp.'s (NYSE: FON) labs.

Vivace makes two multiservice edge switches that each combine the QOS (quality of service) functions of a Layer 2 switch and the packet forwarding functions of a Layer 3 router. The switches purportedly give carriers the capability to beef up their existing edge capacity while giving them a way to migrate to MPLS networks. If a Tier 1 carrier does buy Vivace's switch it could be seen as a victory for MPLS gear, which large carriers have supported vocally but not yet financially (see MPLS vs ATM? Vendors Weigh In).

If Vivace has succeeded, it raises the question of how the startup will support a large carrier customer. Unlike archrival WaveSmith Networks Inc., which has a relationship with Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN), Vivace hasn't yet announced any sort of partnership with a larger vendor or services company (see WaveSmith Gets $30M, Signs With Ciena). Also, Vivace recently laid off an undisclosed number of workers in order to cut costs, though this could have been done at the request of a customer.

Calls to Vivace executives haven't yet been returned.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like