Optical/IP Networks

Lightscape Spreads East

Lightscape Networks, the ECI Telecom Ltd. (Nasdaq/NM: ECIL) subsidiary, said Thursday that it's signed a contract to supply its XDM product to a large mobile operator in China: Zhejiang Unicom (ZU), a China Unicom Ltd. subsidiary with about 1.3 million subscribers in Zhejiang province. Financial terms were undisclosed (see Lightscape Lands China Contract).

This contract win follows a recent deal Lightscape signed with Israel PTT Bezeq for between US$30 million and $50 million over three years (see Lightscape Upgrades Holy Land and Lightscape Wins Telia Contract). Lightscape's other customers include Cable & Wireless PLC (NYSE: CWP) and Telia AB. A promised North American deal has yet to materialize (see Lightscape Looks West ).

However, the deal with China Unicom points to some decent momentum for the Israeli metro telecom equipment provider, which at one time was eyeing an IPO in the U.S. It seems to have delayed those ambitions during the brutal carrier spending slump, but the company's global approach is paying dividends.

In the Zhejiang Unicom deployment, Lightscape will put its XDM -- which combines DWDM, Sonet transport, digital crossconnect, and Gigabit Ethernet functions -- in the nodes of existing switching centers across ZU's GSM network. The boxes will be used to add more voice capacity to the installed network, as well as for a network expansion covering three cities (Hangzhou, Taizhou, and Jiaxing).

Lightscape says it will show off its hardware and its new set of network design and network management tools at the upcoming Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibit (OFC) (see Lightscape to Showcase New Products). "Every equipment vendor is trying to provide a network management or element management platform. Other network management tools work only on a specific layer in the network, but we will provide point-and-click provisioning over Sonet, SDH, WDM, or Gigabit Ethernet," says Emanuel Nachum, Lightscape's president.

The company will also demonstrate its XDM 4000 platform, a separate shelf unit with amplifiers that helps extend the transport distance of the other XDM systems from around 400 kilometers to between 700 and 1,200 kilometers. A future release of the XDM system will have the XDM 4000's amplifiers integrated into a single system, according to Nachum.

Meanwhile, Lightscape will continue to try to win more accounts in North America. "The market is tough for everybody right now," Nachum says, "but a lot of service providers are planning their next phases of their metro network buildouts, and we're actively participating in many of these network-planning RFPs."

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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