Alloptic Allotted $30M More
This gives Alloptic, a 55-employee company, more than $100 million in funding raised to date. Its previous round, in April 2003, was a $35 million catch led by GMG Capital and Athenian Venture Partners.
Alloptic makes central office and customer premises gear for Ethernet passive optical networks (EPONs), and its technology delivers 1 Gbit/s of bandwidth, giving it plenty of room to offer most combinations of voice, video, and data services that carriers crave for fiber to the premises (FTTP) deployments.
The company competes with Hitachi Ltd. (NYSE: HIT; Paris: PHA), Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA), Optical Solutions Inc., and others in the fiber access market generally. But its decision to focus on EPON gives it an advantage in some cases. EPONs' reach is up to 20km, which is twice that of ATM-based BPONs (broadband PONs). EPON also provides twice the downstream bandwidth and seven times the upstream bandwidth of BPON (see Ethernet in Access Networks).
But though EPON has its advantages, the biggest carriers and the largest pools of cash for fiber access networks in most of North America will be spent on BPON. EPON is firmly entrenched in Asia, but GPON (gigabit PON) is picking up steam in areas where there's a need to keep offering analog video. Michael Howard, principal analyst at Infonetics Research Inc., predicts that by 2008, North America (where GPON dominates) will account for 43 percent of worldwide PON revenue, and Asia (where EPON dominates) will account for 39 percent of worldwide revenue.
In the U.S., two of Alloptic's marquee customers are S.C.-based Hargray Communications and Ga.-based Knology Inc. (Nasdaq: KNOL) -- both of which are offering triple-play bundled services to residential and business customers (see Knology, Hargrave Pick Alloptic PON).
For the latest on the many varieties of PON and deployments around the world, see the recent Light Reading report: PON & FTTx Update.
— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading