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Optical/IP

Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom

Startup Atrica Inc. has won a deal with France Telecom SA (NYSE: FTE) that bodes well for the emerging Ethernet services market -- in Europe, at least.

The news is set for announcement tomorrow. It follows earlier news of an Atrica win at Al-Pi Telecomunicacions, a subsidiary of the French carrier (see Euro CLEC Says 'Oui' to Atrica). France Telecom also is an investor in Atrica (see Atrica Attracts $75M).

While it's not giving out the value or duration of the deal, Atrica says both its A-8100 Optical Ethernet Core Switch and A-2100 Optical Ethernet Edge Switches are involved. France Telecom already has live traffic for high-speed Internet access, Ethernet private line, and transparent LAN services running over the startup's gear in Paris, say Atrica spokespeople. They say France Telecom plans to expand to 25 metro regions over an unspecified time period.

France Telecom had not répondéd to calls by press time.

Not surprisingly, Atrica execs are thrilled at scoring with a European incumbent. "We hope this is the first in a long line for us," says VP of marketing Tim Dixon. He says the trial took more than a year and that being subsidized by the carrier made no difference in the selection process. "Close to twelve vendors started out the selection. We had the same gates and approval process to win."

Names of the other runners couldn't be established at press time, but Atrica made clear it had won over Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Riverstone Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RSTN) in the earlier contest at Al-Pi.

At France Telecom, Atrica's real coup could be on the design front. "There's a lot of talk about Ethernet-over-Sonet/SDH, but here we have a European incumbent looking at more than Ethernet-over-SDH," says Sterling Perrin, senior research analyst at IDC.

Atrica concurs. "The biggest significance is that carriers are seeing that an alternative solution can meet their needs," says Atrica CEO Vivek Ragavan. "When one carrier makes that determination, others are going to fall into line. It's an indication this market is gaining."

But Atrica still has goals to meet. It's early days in the Ethernet services market, and, according to Perrin, the rollout pattern will be unique.

"With optical Ethernet, we see pretty much a reversal of the sequence of adoption in other optical markets," he says. U.S. regulatory issues, the capex downturn, and other factors are making the rest of the world the seedbed for Ethernet services. Indeed, in Perrin's view, the Asia/Pacific region should be first to glom on, followed by Europe, and then North America.

Atrica's been busy setting up shop in Asia (see Atrica Gets Japanese Distributor, Atrica Expands in Asia, and Atrica Announces Agreements), but so far hasn't publicized any big wins there. And its sizeable stable of carrier investors doesn't include an Asian incumbent.

It's also questionable whether Atrica's all-Ethernet proposition will fly once the North American market starts to ramp up. According to Perrin, RBOCs may resist a technology that threatens the Sonet infrastructure.

Still, Atrica's activity can't be underestimated in a market where any money's welcome, and any incumbent win is a herald of future potential.

How big a market is at stake? Perrin's still working on his forecasts but says Ethernet telecom equipment will be a "multibillion-dollar market" by 2006, and services revenue will exceed that.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
www.lightreading.com Movers and shakers from more than 100 companies – including Atrica, Cisco, and Riverstone – will be speaking at Lightspeed Europe. Check it out at Lightspeed Europe 02.

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digerato 12/4/2012 | 9:35:27 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom "It's also questionable whether Atrica's all-Ethernet proposition will fly once the North American market starts to ramp up. According to Perrin, RBOCs may resist a technology that threatens the Sonet infrastructurre."

Mr Perrin needs to acquant himself with Atrica's boxes -- they are a hybrid SONET/Ethernet architecture. Part of Atrica's value proposition is that they do *not* threaten SONET infrastructure.

Digerato
wilecoyote 12/4/2012 | 9:35:25 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom This is interesting. We should all wish them well here. Any win for a metro ethernet company is a win for a lot of folks. Ethernet WILL win, it's a question of when not if. Trick for Atrica will be to survive financially long enough for the market to reach some level of critical mass.

U.S. is at risk of falling behind Europe and Japan in everything from IP mobility to super computing to metro networking, etc. European economy sucks right now but they seem to be spending.

I've changed my mind over time about this company. Was very skeptical on them for a long time but am starting to think they have something.

Bompa 12/4/2012 | 9:35:17 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom " ...being subsidized by the carrier made no difference in the selection process..."

My a..! FT invested in Atrica. They want to see a return. If that means they have to kick-start and subsidize sales, they will do it.

Who are you fooling?

straight shooter 12/4/2012 | 9:35:15 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom Bompa wrote:
"My a..! FT invested in Atrica. They want to see a return. If that means they have to kick-start and subsidize sales, they will do it.

Who are you fooling?"

Maybe. But this isn't always the case. I've been involved in deals where the investment was actually a road block. Why? The network engineers ostracized the company because from their point of view the suits made the decision to invest and they weren't doing anything stuffed down their throat by management.
FiberFan 12/4/2012 | 9:35:12 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom Digerato,
You pasted and responded the following:

"It's also questionable whether Atrica's all-Ethernet proposition will fly once the North American market starts to ramp up. According to Perrin, RBOCs may resist a technology that threatens the Sonet infrastructurre."

Mr Perrin needs to acquant himself with Atrica's boxes -- they are a hybrid SONET/Ethernet architecture. Part of Atrica's value proposition is that they do *not* threaten SONET infrastructure.

I beg to differ- As a technologist in the MAN space I am very familiar with Atrica's offering. They have Ethernet LAN/WAN PHYs to connect to the network side. Unless your idea is to put a GigE port (mapped to an STS-n) there is NO hybrid solution. Atrica is touting GE and 10GE network transport. That doesn't map very well into SONET.
Comments?
FiberFan
wilecoyote 12/4/2012 | 9:35:12 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom Here's another consideration. I bet money FT was washed out or seriously diluted by the last round financing.

Could it be, FT actually invested early on because they liked the architecture? Now the box finally works and they are buying it. So everyone jumps in and cries foul.

Man, some of you people are negative!
copperdog 12/4/2012 | 9:35:12 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom Does anyone know how this will affect Tellium's approach to FT??

Any responses would be appreciated.
wilecoyote 12/4/2012 | 9:35:11 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom Unstrung was a good thing to do. What about security? An interesting and worthwhile category.
SiO2 12/4/2012 | 9:35:10 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom wileycoyote writes:

> This is interesting. We should all wish
> them well here. Any win for a metro ethernet
> company is a win for a lot of folks. Ethernet
> WILL win, it's a question of when not if.

agree that ethernet will win. however, i
doubt that the transport will be DWDM. the
providers i talk to indicate (at least
domestically) a strong preference for
GFP encapsulated EoS.

digital wrapper and RPR seem to have lost
their footing (again, at least domestically).

SiO2

green 12/4/2012 | 9:35:09 PM
re: Atrica Plugs Into France Telecom Yeah right..

FT was a early investor in Atrica !!!

I got a follow-up news release for the execs at Atrica. how about everyone working at Atrica buy one box each and claim that they have 200+ unique independent customers..

give me a break..

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