Enavis Preps New Switch
The big switch is a big deal for Enavis, a company that's losing money and faced with falling revenues. The company's product will occupy two full telecom bays and, depending on its configuration, will either serve as a core switch or as a metro switch for large points of presence.
In its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings, Koor Industries Ltd., a large ECI stakeholder, reports that Enavis had an operating loss of $2,838,000 on revenues of $30,945,000 for the six month period ended June 30. During the year-ago period, Enavis reported an operating loss of $8,770,000 on revenues of $67,253,000, the filings say.
Enavis executives say the company has about 380 employees, down from the 500 headcount cited in published reports from August 2001.
Having cut staff in line with its parent's restructuring, Enavis is counting on T::CORE to pick up where its popular T::DAX crossconnect products left off (see New World Picks Enavis). Analysts say it’s a good idea on paper, but rolling out a new switch now is tricky.
"The product direction is an obvious one for Enavis, given their other products," says Michael Howard, principal analyst and founder of Infonetics Research Inc. "However, now is not the right time for a new entrant in the next-gen optical switch market."
The long-haul Sonet (Synchronous Optical NETwork) and SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) intelligent switch market was $113 million in the second quarter this year, with Ciena owning 26 percent of that, according to data from Infonetics. That's down 9.6 percent from the year-ago quarter, when the market was $125 million.
In its first release, the T::CORE will have 320 Gbit/s of total capacity, or the ability to switch about 2,048 OC3 (155 Mbit/s) connections. Comparable switches, such as Ciena's CoreDirector, appear to have Enavis beat, as they boast 640 Gbit/s of bidirectional capacity in a single rack.
Enavis, however, contends its switch actually has the same amount of capacity because it doesn't have to use the switch matrix to provide bandwidth protection. Port redundancy happens at the input/output level, which saves the switch matrix from dedicating bandwidth for potential circuit failures, according to Kameel Wakim, Enavis's VP of marketing. In other words, Enavis contends that carriers will get more capacity for their dollar with T::CORE, since the switch operates more efficiently.
Later this year, the T::CORE's capacity will grow to 1.28 Tbit/s. By the third quarter of 2004, the switch's total capacity will max out at 5 Tbit/s, Wakim says.
Other features include the ability to mix and match connections at disparate line rates -- including OC3, OC12, OC48, OC192, and Gigabit Ethernet connections -- all in the same shelf. "Carriers have a wide variety of line-rate interfaces they need to run through such platforms," says Paul Ellett, Enavis's vice president and general manager of North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean. "The ability to reach out and touch all the optics in the office is very, very important."
It plans to sell the T::CORE to its existing crossconnect customers first, and company executives say "one large Korean service provider" will be ready to install the product in a live network in November. Enavis, known mostly for selling to international carriers, says it is in the process of completing Osmine certification so it can target North American regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs) with its new switch.
— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading