Meriton Adds KT to BT
Meriton already has a deal, through partner Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), to supply WDM equipment to BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA) for the carrier's next-generation 21CN network. (See Fujitsu Shares Its 21CN Success.)
But on this occasion Meriton won the deal directly, and even beat Fujitsu, as well as the likes of Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), to land the contract, according to the vendor's director of product marketing Nick Cadoogan. Local support for deployment and integration comes from Korean systems integrator Telcore.
Cadoogan says KT issued an RFI for what it calls its I-WDM (Intelligent WDM) network -- metro optical infrastructure that will support high-bandwidth services such as IPTV and online gaming, which requires symmetrical access of tens of megabits per second -- in the second quarter of 2005.
It then conducted benchmark testing in Korea and North America in the fourth quarter and has already deployed the vendor's 7200 OSP (Optical Switching Platform), supported by the 8600 NMS (Network Management System), in six nodes in the Korean city of Anyang, building a 2.5-Gbit/s ring.
There's potential for further deployments, though Meriton isn't saying how big the deal might be if KT deploys the vendor's equipment nationwide. But sources close to the company say KT could expand the deal to up to 20 cities, with future metro rings ramping up to 10 Gbit/s, if the Anyang network performs to expectations.
Scott Clavenna, chief analyst at Heavy Reading, says the deal is very significant for Meriton, and that KT is set to "spend a lot on DWDM in the next three years" as broadband traffic volumes ramp up in a country with one of the world's highest broadband penetration rates. (See OECD Reports on B'band .)
Clavenna believes that the KT deal, if, as expected, expands to other cities, could be worth up to $25 million this year to the vendor, and double that in 2007.
He says it'll be bigger than the BT deal, as the U.K. contract is tied to Fujitsu's MSAN deployments, while the deal with the Korean carrier is "a direct deal with KT for a big upgrade it is doing."
KT clearly has big plans for bandwidth-hungry applications -- the carrier is trialing WDM-PON technology that provides a dedicated wavelength to each user hooked up to a fiber connection -- and needs metro networks that can cope with large volumes of data. (See Novera's Got a New PON Spin.)
— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading