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Optical/IP

Corona Networks Disappears

Corona Networks Inc., a six-year-old IP edge router startup, seems to be in the dumper, raising questions about its partnership agreement with Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA).

Rumors of Corona Networks' demise are rampant; sources say the doors shut Friday and that 60-odd remaining employees are gone. Many phone numbers given on the company Website no longer work; and at least one office, in Cary, N.C., seems to have become the property of a townhouse developer.

Voicemail still works for several Corona Networks execs, including CEO Ramandeep Singh, but none returned calls. Today, an assistant in the offices of VC firm Redwood Venture Partners LLC said Bharat Gupte, a director at Redwood who's familiar with Corona, had confirmed the startup's closure.

Gupte didn't return calls and email at press time.

The news and the secrecy aren't surprising. Corona's been struggling for months with layoffs and funding crises, while trying to keep things quiet (see Headcount: Mississippi Spurning).

A big question is: If Corona Networks is history, what will happen to a deal it had to supply Alcatel with a broadband remote access server (B-RAS) for the French vendor's 7301 DSLAM? That deal originally appeared to help Corona get $8 million in Series D funding back in April (see Corona Gets a Boost).

Alcatel isn't saying much. "We can't comment on the situations of other vendors," says Jay Fausch, senior director for Alcatel's Fixed Communications group. He says Alcatel will live up to any customer commitments it's made to put that B-RAS module into Alcatel's 7301 DSLAM. But he won't comment on how many such commitments have been made.

Reportedly, in choosing Corona Networks for the B-RAS job, Alcatel shunned Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) last year (see Redback, Alcatel Close to Alliance). Now that things may have changed, could talks reopen?

Redback wouldn't comment at press time. Still, in an interesting ripple, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), an investor in Redback that competes with Alcatel in broadband access and other areas, has reduced its stake in Redback, officially in order to pare down "liquid assets." In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dated Monday, Nokia said it owns a 3.4 percent stake in Redback, compared with 10 percent owned last year.

Still, it's not clear whether Alcatel would consider a reduced stake an improvement over a large one.

Alcatel faces a challenge now, since other makers of compact B-RAS products include companies that compete in one way or another with Alcatel: Cisco Systems Inc.(Nasdaq: CSCO), Copper Mountain Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: CMTN), Juniper Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: JNPR), and Network Equipment Technologies Inc. (net.com) (NYSE: NWK), for example (see Carriers Want a Little B-RAS on the Edge).

NOTE: Please note that Corona Networks is not to be confused with Corona Optical Systems Inc., another startup that makes optoelectronic components and is still operating.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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dadofamunky 12/4/2012 | 11:31:14 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears "The industry destroyed itself and is in ruins
because during the boom, NOBODY was telling
the truth about anything. The reason good
startups hurt now is that an entire generation
of people got rich off of lying and paying
kickbacks rather than building good companies."

Damn well right about that.... now back to work for me....
regent 12/4/2012 | 11:31:36 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears > Estimates on the asking price given in the
> article are in the 250-300 million range.

Yep. I see a pattern regarding the accuracy of LR predictions and estimates. Do you?

All right, that was sarcasm. Good luck to Laurel, and let's hope that their hard work will pay off. However, you must be totally ignoring reallity if you even try to challenge Timetra based on the price that Alcatel was willing to pay for it.

Regards.
boobasan 12/4/2012 | 11:31:37 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears Skeptic wrote:
================================================
"b) In Message 27, In response to someone saying:
"On the stability note, please show me a router that does not crash. Even on GA code.""
================================================

Man, what I meant there is that you were raving about problems in a product that was not in production ready, possibly pre-beta state while there are a lot of brand-name boxes that crash even with GA soft/hardware. Just be fair.

Skeptic, I really enjoy your posts and you probably know what you talking about and your negativity sometimes is very entertaining.. I know your name implies a lot of things you say but give these guys a break or at least a benefit of a doubt.
boobasan 12/4/2012 | 11:31:37 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears "Estimates on the asking price given in the article are in the 250-300 million range."

Given that they raise about $90M, this makes sense if any of the folks there other than VCs are to make any money. Don't forget, TiMetra raised a bit more than half of that amount, so the $150 price tag is a lot more reasonable in TiMetra's case. That said, I am sure TiMetra was willing to take more if you know what I mean.

rush21 12/4/2012 | 11:31:39 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears Wow - so you actually have VPLS running in your network??? Are you sure ???

Thought the deal had more to do with a tech advisor or something?

-----------------------------------------------

Yes, Masergy runs real VPLS available over Ethernet or Serial Local Loops.
skeptic 12/4/2012 | 11:31:41 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears But sometimes it is a struggling startup with a great product. Skeptic's seemingly knowledgeable but often off-base analyses and criticisms can do real damage.
------------------------
I'm offering my opinion, as I have stated many
times before. If anyone is stupid enough to
make serious decisions based on anonymous
messages, they get what they deserve.

I dont remember calling myself an "insider".
Or for that matter calling anything "inside
information". You may think its inside
information because you have not seen it, but
that doesn't mean it is.

If I offer conjecture, I give the basis for
my conjecture in a fair amount of detail.
If its wrong, then I'm fine with being corrected.
These boards are interesting because of the things
people say. If I wanted mindless hype, I can
go talk to the companies directly and get that.
And everyone else could as well.

I also think that the culture of the industry
needs to change and we need to start asking
more hard questions, not less.

The industry destroyed itself and is in ruins
because during the boom, NOBODY was telling
the truth about anything. The reason good
startups hurt now is that an entire generation
of people got rich off of lying and paying
kickbacks rather than building good companies.

skeptic 12/4/2012 | 11:31:42 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears ”Wow!” writes one VC, who didn’t want to be named, in an email to Light Reading. “What a ridiculous price. I'd like that banker representing TiMetra to be on my team! He can sell ice to Eskimos!”
---------------------
See May 21, 2003
Laurel: Startup Holdout?

Estimates on the asking price given in the article
are in the 250-300 million range.





skeptic 12/4/2012 | 11:31:42 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears 1. Skeptic sprinkles a little knowledge with a lot of hot air, usually highly critical of the company, often with vague references to supposed insider's knowledge. In fact it is all conjecture and bluff, and sometimes completely off base.
2. Someone with real knowledge calls his bluff.
3. Skeptic loses it.
==========================

a) In message 20, comments are made from "real
experience" with the Timetra product. I'm not
making the comments.
b) In Message 27, In response to someone saying:
"On the stability note, please show me a router that does not crash. Even on GA code."

Which I said is an utterly stupid thing to say
in response to "real experience" with the product.
c) In message 29, someone asks "did you test
their box?"
Please now explain to me why I have to
have tested their box given that:
1) Someone else who had tested the box
already commented.
2) My comments were directed at a statement
saying basically /so what if it crashed/.
I don't need experience to comment
on that.
d) I message 34, someone gets /real upset/
that comments based on firsthand experience
are being made /at all/.
e) I point out where I (to quote you) "lost it"
that its hypocracy to get angry at negative
comments when positive comments are ok.



opticalwatcher 12/4/2012 | 11:31:43 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears "Its great hearing ethical lectures from a bunch
of people rather shamlessly promoting their
product (or a product they have an association
with) on lightreading."

Why are you so upset? I think I know!

1. Skeptic sprinkles a little knowledge with a lot of hot air, usually highly critical of the company, often with vague references to supposed insider's knowledge. In fact it is all conjecture and bluff, and sometimes completely off base.
2. Someone with real knowledge calls his bluff.
3. Skeptic loses it.

I normally wouldn't bother to say anything, especially in this case when the company has been bought. But sometimes it is a struggling startup with a great product. Skeptic's seemingly knowledgeable but often off-base analyses and criticisms can do real damage.

I caution all readers to take any criticism of companies in the message list with a grain of salt, even (especially) from supposedly knowledgeable insiders like skeptic.

regent 12/4/2012 | 11:31:45 PM
re: Corona Networks Disappears > If it were a great business and a great product,
> you would (like Laurel) not be thinking
> about selling quick or else be looking for a
> higher price than alcatel would give.

Looking for a higher price? LetGÇÖs seeGǪ

----------------
GÇ¥Wow!GÇ¥ writes one VC, who didnGÇÖt want to be named, in an email to Light Reading. GÇ£What a ridiculous price. I'd like that banker representing TiMetra to be on my team! He can sell ice to Eskimos!GÇ¥
----------------
-L.R., GÇ£Alcatel & TiMetra Seal the DealGÇ¥

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