Cable Tech

What's Next for Vyyo?

As reported last week, Vyyo Inc. (Nasdaq: VYYO) came off radio silence last week with a 10-K filing revealing that the champion of 3 GHz cable overlay technology has about three months to figure out what its future will hold. (See Vyyo on Life Support .)

The company, which had just $5.3 million in cash and cash equivalent on March 31, but added $4.5 million in bridge funding on June 13, made it clear in the filing that it is trying to raise more capital to keep the lights on and maintain Vyyo as a "going concern."

Another option, of course, is a sale of its assets. But don't expect Vyyo to make a killing with that route, either, based on recent history. PhyFlex Networks (formerly Narad Networks), a vendor that tended to get thrown in the same bucket as Vyyo, sold its assets to Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN) for cents on the dollar last fall. (See Ciena Picks Up PhyFlex Scraps.)

Like Vyyo, Narad/PhyFlex and its technology was spawned by heaps of capital, but never took the cable world by storm. PhyFlex's marquee customer was Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), while Vyyo's big cable score, relatively speaking, has been Cox Communications Inc. . Vyyo also has a connection to StarHub in Singapore, but the country has been less than swift in its selection of vendors and other partners for a next-gen broadband network. (See Singapore Shortlists FTTH Firms.) StarHub 's initial RFP for the project included Vyyo's technology. (See StarHub Goes Out-of-Band With Vyyo.)

Vyyo is "considering several different alternatives," a company official said last week when asked whether Vyyo is pursuing a sale.

Even if it is, it's difficult to connect Vyyo with just one vendor. Today, there are more than a handful of companies that already offer (and are deploying) gear that would enable operators to expand their bandwidth to 1 GHz. Those include Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS), Aurora Networks Inc. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), and Harmonic Inc. (Nasdaq: HLIT), to name but a few. Perhaps one of them would like to add Vyyo's technology to their portfolio and do so without paying a princely sum?

Another option to throw into the speculative mix: CommScope Inc. . It's already going after cable operators with a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) platform for new builds called "BrightPath," and it doesn't already have a spectrum overlay play in its portfolio. (See CommScope Sees BrightPath for Cable FTTP and CommScope Shows Fiber NID.) As an established company with deep cable operator relationships, CommScope can also keep the 3 GHz fire burning until operators (at least more of them) might be truly ready to give it a go.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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