Cable Tech

FNC Finds FASST Friends

Sonet transport powerhouse Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. (FNC) has struck deals to resell gear from Atrica Inc. and CoSine Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: COSN) as a way of helping it establish a position as a broadband data services vendor.

The company's new partnering system goes under the FASST moniker, which stands for the Flexible Architecture for Subscriber Service Termination portfolio. Other companies will be added to the FASST partners list in the future, FNC says.

The combination makes sense on paper. CoSine and Atrica both lack a North American reseller partner, and both companies are too small to provide sales and support to a large incumbent carrier. Further, Atrica has no announced North American customers. CoSine is installed in some interexchange carriers, but can't lay claim to an RBOC customer yet.

FNC, on the other hand, has a large installed base of incumbent carriers and MSOs in North America and has the sales and support infrastructure to handle such accounts. However, it lacks an Ethernet access product line for overlay data networks, and it's nowhere in the B-RAS nor edge routing market, which limits the kinds of carrier services it can push at the network's edge.

The way FNC sees it, routing vendors such as Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), are constantly coming up with solutions that "pull intelligence out of carrier networks" and reduce the carrier's existence to simply that of providing a "big, dumb pipe." The FASST architecture, FNC says, is designed to give carriers a chance to sell higher-margin managed services.

The services FNC is aiming to help carriers address include VOIP, secure Internet access, transparent LAN service, Frame Relay/ATM services, video conferencing, video on demand, broadcast video, and storage area networking.

FNC says the move was driven by its customers, but it wouldn't specify which ones. The company already has a relationship with access vendor Entrisphere Inc., though not specifically under the FASST brand name. It's unclear whether that relationship has created anything more than an abundance of PR (see Fujitsu, Entrisphere Turn Triple Play).

Paul Havala, FNC's senior manager for data technical marketing, says the deals with CoSine and Atrica have "some level of exclusivity," but he declined to elaborate.

All three companies will demonstrate interoperability with each other's products at Supercomm.

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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