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Catena Earns Top Ten Spot

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
7/25/2003

Catena Networks Inc. is replacing WaveSmith Networks on Light Reading's Top Ten Private Companies list (the list can be seen at the bottom right of the LR home page here). WaveSmith was was recently acquired by Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) (see Ciena Nabs WaveSmith).

For now, Catena will take WaveSmith's spot at #3. But a major overhaul of the list is coming soon to reflect major changes in the market.

Why is Catena being added? First, it's been well-funded (see Ka-Ching for Catena Networks). Second, it's got customers, too, including some new biz with BellSouth Corp. (NYSE: BLS) (see Catena Cozies Up to RBOCs). And it plays in the all-important access space.

We also hear that major systems companies have started sniffing around Catena for a potential snack. Keep an eye on Light Reading next week, as news is coming on that front.

For Catena's full writeup, see Catena Networks.

— R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, Light Reading

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Tim Ber
Tim Ber
12/4/2012 | 11:42:55 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
My guess is Nortel is looking to get back into the access space and Catena fits the bill.
rbkoontz
rbkoontz
12/4/2012 | 11:42:55 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
LR is wrong again.

The future of Catena is greatly at risk. This could have been a nice small niche business to retrofit the SLC5 DLCs for DSL in the RBOCs. But this is not a big enough market to go public so they decide to use the valuable profits from the SLC5 business to build yet another broadband DLC product. The problem is this BLC market is overcrowded and the new platform is very very late to market, putting the future of this company at risk.

Catena's new product will not compete market-wise with the likes of Alcatel, AFC, Calix, etc who have built or are building strong footprint in carriers. There are at least 10 other wannabe players in this market who are killing themselves and wasting a lot of dumb money from VCs. Their SLC5 retrofit creates no footprint for them to leverage.

Why don't people get this?
jbhollen
jbhollen
12/4/2012 | 11:42:52 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
I guess all the VCs that put up almost $200M, all the customers that Catena has, the trade press and all the people that are interested in or buying their new BLC product just aren't as smart as you are. Tough to be you.
grapsfan
grapsfan
12/4/2012 | 11:42:51 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
> I guess all the VCs that put up almost $200M, > all the customers that Catena has, the trade
> press and all the people that are interested
> in or buying their new BLC product just aren't
> as smart as you are. Tough to be you.


Quoting the VCs, with their telecom track record, and the trade press that will often times print, hype and swallow anything that a company tells them (disclaimer: no direct indictment of LR was meant by this statement)...that's not a way to win this argument.

But Catena does have a customer base that most startups would envy. And any time a startup can get an RBOC to deploy them is a neat trick. The gambit for Catena is to turn those SLC5 line replacements into acceptance of them as a legit vendor, and therefore, get BellSouth and other RBOCs to look at their new platform. Regardless of technological coolness, the RBOCs will never deploy a product until the vendor has jumped through zillions of hoops and proven themselves "worthy" from an OSS, tech support, sales, and inventory perspective.
palaeozoic
palaeozoic
12/4/2012 | 11:42:51 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
Catena has done a credible job building a 2-port POTS+ADSL blade to replace a 2-port POTS blade in ancient SLC-5s. Certainly they can and will find lots of places to sell this. Whether or not such a niche market will provide an adequate return to VCs that pumped $192m into the company is something that only the VCs and their limiteds will ever know.

However, assuming that this gives them leverage to penetrate carriers with a full platform play (the CN1000) is kind of like assuming that Michelin has adequate leverage to get into the car business. LR might buy this, but not carriers.
OSPGuy
OSPGuy
12/4/2012 | 11:42:51 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
Most Wanted wrote:

"Their SLC5 retrofit creates no footprint for them to leverage."

Au contraire, M. W.

Leverage is what the SLC5 retrofit gives Catena in SPADES. ("in spades" means "beaucoup")

The barrier to entry into an RBOC network isn't generally technology, but OSS integration. If a vendor can jump through that hoop, then the next product is that much easier to get approved (like having a pre-existing security clearance when applying for a job at the FBI). So more BellSouth business is a pretty good bet.

But as you note, it's an extremely crowded field, and the RBOCs already have approved DLCs. But hey, at least things are starting to happen again in this business, right?

I can't wait to read the big news LR is going to release next week about Catena. These LR reporters are just a bunch of Woodward and Bernstein's, aren't they?
rogerramjet
rogerramjet
12/4/2012 | 11:42:49 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
Gee Graspsfan - great comments and from that I guess you did not read the other forums about Catena - Yes that the process to integrate with the RBOC OSS systems is long slow and expensive when you need to have a product installed and with one product - the same MIBs etc will usually apply to other products from the same vendor (ie Cisco etc..) HOWEVER ... not only has CATENA made gain and deployment in BellSouth but also Verizon as well as here in Hartford with SBC - real deployments and therefore integration with their OSS systems - If they are working with SNET ..they are working with SBC ..SO thats Bell South, SBC and Verizon ..fully integrated into their OSS network for roll-outs...Does AFC or others with BLCs have the same customer depth ...NO ..so LR has done their homework and from what I saw at the Catena booth @ Supercomm has some real BLC products that was not paperware (ie AFC support of video over DSL tha stop after 10 customers per 24 line card .. I saw the tests in our lab) that really worked. So I know that I will get a bunch of AFC employees and others crapping on the truth but thats fine ..I saw what I saw at SuperComm and our SBC labs and Catena is one smart bet ..LR is Right Again.

Proton Pill Time

roger
grapsfan
grapsfan
12/4/2012 | 11:42:48 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
Roger, I wasn't criticizing Catena...you're right that I didn't read the other forums. I have no vested interest in AFC or any of the other BLC competitors of theirs. I'm sorry that you misinterpreted my tone. Didn't take a lot of work to figure yours out, unfortunately. That said:


> If they are working with SNET ..they are
> working with SBC ..SO thats Bell South, SBC
> and Verizon ..fully integrated into their OSS
> network for roll-outs

I'll go with the (implied in your post) assumption that you work in the SNET footprint. So you know, and will hammer me if I don't agree, that Catena has cleared a huge hurdle in getting through Telcordia OSMINE and common language. What it sounds like you don't know is that just because they've gotten through that step, and that one RBOC has tested and deployed, doesn't mean that the rest will just fall in line. If SBC approves, Verizon & BellSouth & Qwest will not just say, "oh, Catena is fully integrated" and go on their way with rollout. Not even close. From my experience working for vendors who sell mass quantities to the RBOCs, each one will definitely take a "prove it to me" attitude and make you jump through the same number of hoops.

Congratulations to Catena, their employees, their stockholders, and whomever else you want me to feel happy for...they've passed one huge milestone, one that not of a lot of startups, nor Catena's competitors, have passed yet. There's others on the way.
firstmile
firstmile
12/4/2012 | 11:42:43 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
Hey,
Let's face reality...
We all like to make a ton of comments to make sure that the journalists and others keep the facts straight and don't overhype or underhype achievements and announcements.
But the fact of the matter is...this is pretty good news. And if Catena is successful (they have a long way to go), they could change the way that start-ups are built in the future.

And of course, the best news of all is...carriers are buying products and they are buying products from start-ups!
...First
firstmile
firstmile
12/4/2012 | 11:42:42 PM
re: Catena Earns Top Ten Spot
Isn't it an NGDLC? Seems like it would compete with LiteSpan etc.
...First
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