Cable Tech

Internet Photonics Scores at FiberNet

Internet Photonics Inc. has landed a DWDM Ethernet deployment at FiberNet Telecom Group Inc. (Nasdaq: FTGX), a carrier's carrier based in New York City.

The deal highlights a relationship between Internet Photonics and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT): The two cooperated in the network, but Nortel must be wondering if it could have gotten a piece of the action if it had the right product.

FiberNet uses Nortel's OPTera Metro 5200 multiservice platform to provision Ethernet private lines in its network. But it's using Internet Photonics' LightStack MX, a DWDM-based transport box, to link the service to customers.

The LightStack MX multiplexes up to eight Gigabit Ethernet clients over a 10-Gbit/s DWDM interface on one fiber. So far, that's something Nortel can't offer -- the 5200 supports just two Gigabit Ethernet clients over one 10-Gbit/s DWDM link. Adding the LightStack MX between the 5200 and customer networks lets FiberNet squeeze more out of its fiber resources and simplify provisioning.

FiberNet's VP of engineering, Ernest Hoffmann, is happy with Nortel gear. "This choice isn't about replacing Nortel. This is a choice based on efficiency and cost reduction," he says.

Indeed, to get the solution, the vendors had to cooperate. Internet Photonics' gear had to be able to match the wavelengths in the passive filters that work with Nortel's gear, and that required joint tweaking and testing.

Bottom line? This win is another notch in Internet Photonics' belt, because it involves an interesting application in a major metro area. It looks good against the backdrop of other recent announcements, including a bit of new credit, a win at Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), and a reselling arrangement with ADC Telecommunications Inc. (Nasdaq: ADCT) (see Internet Photonics Leans on ADC, Internet Photonics Earns $10M Credit, and Internet Photonics Touts VOD).

But Internet Photonics can't get cocky. The startup hasn't backed down from comparisons with bigger competitors in the past; now it's actually goaded one of the biggest, Nortel. It must still make good on these challenges by replacing Nortel at FiberNet or elsewhere in order to prove its point.

That's not a given. There's no sign FiberNet is interested in the startup's Gigabit Services Line Access Multiplexer (GSLAM), the product in Internet Photonics' lineup that competes directly with Nortel's 5200 (see Internet Photonics Touts VOD). FiberNet hasn't moved to buy the vendor's CWDM-based LightStack MXA platform, either (see Internet Photonics Broadens Targets ). Further, Nortel's not likely to sit still for further encroachments: A spokeswoman says enhancements are underway, though she won't give specifics.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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