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Ethernet equipment

ADVA Lands 21CN Deal

ADVA Optical Networking is the latest vendor to claim 21CN partner status at BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), having been chosen to supply its Ethernet NTE (network termination equipment) for deployment in the carrier's next-generation network. (See ADVA Wins BT 21CN Deal.)

No financial terms were released, but ADVA's VP of sales for Northern Europe, Reg Armitage, says the duration of the engagement is expected to be between five and 10 years. The vendor's chief marketing and strategy officer, Brian McCann, says deployment is set to begin in the second half of 2007, and that the company isn't currently providing any financial guidance as a result of the deal.

ADVA is set to announce its 2006 earnings and provide guidance for 2007 on March 2. Its stock edged up slightly in morning trading today, by €0.02 to €9.03, though in early trading the stock peaked as high as €9.24.

ADVA, a long-time supplier of network gear to BT, is to supply an undetermined quantity of NTEs from its FSP 150 product range. (See ADVA Signs BT to 3-Year Deal and BT Ignite Deploys ADVA.)

These access products act as demarcation devices between carrier and enterprise networks, aggregate Ethernet traffic, and provide a number of operations, administration, and management (OAM) capabilities, including network and service monitoring and integration with existing network management and other OSS systems.

Armitage says a number of different cards and transceivers are being supplied to suit the different requirements of BT's various operational divisions, including BT Global Services (for enterprise services), BT Wholesale, and BT Openreach, which manages the access network. (See ADVA Enhances FSP 150.)

Armitage adds that Ethernet management capabilities inherited from the acquisition of Covaro in late 2005 played a role in meeting BT's needs, which include the ability to interoperate with the various Ethernet switches and MSANs (multiservice access nodes) that are being deployed in the 21CN. (See ADVA Snaps Up Covaro.)

That means being able to support PBT (Provider Backbone Transport), the controversial new flavor of Ethernet that BT is deploying. (See PBT Gathers Support and BT Likes Nortel's New Ethernet Flavor.)

In January, BT announced that Nortel Networks Ltd. and Siemens Communications Group will be providing PBT-enabled Ethernet switches for the 21CN rollout. (See Nortel, Siemens Win PBT Deals at BT.)

And the carrier intends to have more than one supplier for Ethernet access devices too. While ADVA is the only Ethernet NTE supplier chosen for the 21CN so far, BT says it has a multivendor strategy and another supplier will be selected later in 2007.

Other vendors in the Ethernet NTE market include Atrica Inc. , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), MRV Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: MRVC), RAD Data Communications Ltd. , and Telco Systems (BATM) , following its Metrobility acquisition of last year. (See Cisco, ADVA Push Ethernet Access, RAD Touts Ethernet Strategy, Metrobility Crosses Ntwks, MRV Adds Ethernet Products, Atrica Wins Energie Deal, and BATM Snaps Up Metrobility.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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