AFC Bags One in Bogotá

Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (AFC) (Nasdaq: AFCI) says it has a new customer in South America: Colombian CLEC EPM-Bogotá, a part of the Empresas Publicas de Medellín Corp. (see EPM-Bogotá Deploys AFC)

While AFC is mainly known for its dominance of the access market among North American IOCs (independent operating carriers), the vendor can occasionally win on the road as well. AFC says EPM-Bogotá will use its AccessMAX digital loop carrier and its Telliant central office DSLAMs to deliver phone and data services to its customers.

"It's no secret that AFC does very little business outside the U.S. and Canada," says Sergio Arnada, the company's account director for Latin America. "But the CALA [Caribbean and Latin American] area is our most successful international region."

Financial terms of the equipment purchase were not disclosed.

EPM-Bogotá has about 110,000 voice lines, and the carrier is just now starting to roll out some DSL services. But Colombia isn't likely to be a broadband goldmine anytime soon. The country only has about 17 phone lines per 100 inhabitants, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Still, when broadband does start to catch on there, AFC will already have its systems in place and possibly a good reference account for future sales. And it will need all the help it can get, given that AFC has nowhere near as large an international sales force as rival Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) commands.

AFC says it will use Telliant to aggregate traffic from AccessMAX systems and existing DSL platforms, creating a new ATM backbone within EPM-Bogotá’s network. The carrier's existing DSL gear was supplied by Italtel SpA, a large systems integrator that is also a major reseller of gear from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), AFC says.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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