Ethernet equipment

Actelis Bags Cash, Euro Customers

Actelis Networks Inc. says it's gotten a handful of European wins and an unspecified (but supposedly really nifty) round of funding that could help it chase Recovery Act money in the United States.

Both moves reflect what the Ethernet-over-copper vendor claims is a good stream of business from Tier 2 carriers and some small incumbents.

Actelis claims to have plenty of customer wins to talk about, but is focusing on its European success to coincide with this week's Broadband World Forum Europe, says Joe Manuele, Actelis's senior vice president of sales.

Those being announced this week are: Cyberlink, an alternative carrier in Switzerland; NetCologne , a German municipal carrier; and Telekom Slovenije , the Slovenian incumbent.

Cyberlink had already deployed Actelis, as announced about a year and a half ago. (See Cyberlink Deploys Actelis.) What's new is that Actelis now has the OK to run speeds of 8.5 Mbit/s per copper pair in Switzerland, making a five-pair, 40-Mbit/s service feasible.

In Europe, countries limit the speed deliverable on copper, fearing interference with DSL lines in the same copper bundle. Only Switzerland and Denmark have given approval for 8.5-Mbit/s speeds, and Actelis is now pushing the Swiss to allow 12.5 Mbit/s, Manuele says.

Actelis claims its technology, called EFMplus, can reach those speeds without interference. The company uses off-the-shelf Ethernet chips but adds technology to negate crosstalk. "We can go up to 15 Mbit/s per pair in very short loops," Manuele says.

Actelis does have high-speed customers in the United States and might announce some of them in the fall, Manuele says. Symmetric services at 10 to 12 Mbit/s "are becoming a big driver" due to demand for TV and other video services, he says.

To help with that push, Actelis has picked up a "multimillion" dollar funding round from 12 of its prior investors, according to a news release being put out today. The money is described as being for first-mile Ethernet projects in general, but the release also implies that it could help Actelis get a slice of the $7.2 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds as well.

Actelis's last announced funding was in early 2007, a $22 million round that brought its total funding to $119 million. (See Actelis Bags $22M.)

DSLAM backhaul is one way Actelis could cash in on Recovery Act funds. Manuele says Actelis is also working with vendors of multiservice access platforms (MSAPs) on backhauling the traffic from those devices. That could include companies such as Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN), Calix Inc. (NYSE: CALX), Occam Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: OCNW), Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), and Zhone Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: ZHNE), some of which are heavily promoting themselves for Recovery Act projects. (See What Calix Won't Do With $100M and Recovery Act: Tier 2 Says 'No Thanks'.)

Manuele isn't saying which MSAP vendor(s) Actelis is pairing up with, but Calix would seem a long shot, considering it's already shaken hands with Actelis rival Hatteras Networks Inc. (See Calix, Hatteras Get Stimulated.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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