Optical/IP Networks

Marconi Lands Telstra Deal

CHICAGO – Supercomm 2004 – Telstra Corp. said today it has awarded Marconi an equipment deal making it the "preferred supplier for the future rollout and enhancement of its 2.5 Gbit/s optical transport network." The deal is one of the largest equipment contracts to come from a single carrier this year (see Marconi Wins Telstra SDH/WDM Contract).

The deal, reportedly worth A$300 million (US$210 million) over three years, will include Marconi's multiservice provisioning platforms (MSPPs) to help integrate Ethernet and IP capabilities into its current SDH transport network. Marconi won't specify the deal's size. "It's a pretty big number," says a Marconi spokesman.

The contract also includes Marconi's WDM products, which are boxes made by RBN Inc. and resold (see Marconi Resell's RBN's CWDM Gear).

RBN, indeed, is celebrating in a big way now that the deal has been finalized. Jim Fultz, the company's president and CEO, says RBN's gear makes up about 10 percent of the entire kit that Telstra is buying. That would give the startup A$30 million in sales over the next three years from a single contract.

The WDM vendor's chief technology officer, Richard Lauder, says RBN competed against Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE), which was reselling ADVA AG Optical Networking's (Frankfurt: ADAG.F) gear, and Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA), which came with its 1692 platform.

Last week, rumors circulated that the Telstra award was to be split equally among Alcatel, Marconi, and Siemens/ADVA. It's not clear how exactly Marconi pulled ahead.

A year ago, Marconi announced it was "one of two preferred suppliers" of 10-Gbit/s DWDM and SDH gear to Telstra, a hint that Marconi may have had an inside track as an incumbent supplier to the carrier (see Telstra Picks Marconi Gear).

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

stephenpcooke 12/5/2012 | 1:31:05 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal As discussed in another thread previously (see http://www.lightreading.com/bo..., the question has to be asked: "Did either of these companies physically re-locate a real (ie: non-European with a title), senior executive to lead the charge?"

Doing business in Europe is often a mine field for American companies because they think that business is done the same way over there as it is at home. In making this assumption they unwittingly insult their potential customers (always a massive mistake). Have a look at how Europeans approach doing business over here.

- The first thing that they do is physically re-locate a senior executive into a target market.
- This person then begins to hire some experienced local talent in both business and technical arenas.
- They send these new hires back to the 'factory' (home base, where ever that happens to be) for training on the product line and to network with the design team(s).
- Often a few home-based sales engineers, who speak the local language, are sent as resources but who often have limited interaction with potential customers.
- It is not until these newly-trained locals return, still reporting to the re-located senior executive, that the serious effort begins. The senior executive will have been going out to lunch with executives with target customers but very little in terms of serious sales presentations will have been done prior to the return of the trainees.

If these steps are not perceived to have been done the Europeans often feel that they are insulted, whether intentionally or not. If you live outside the USA for any length of time, expecially in Europe, you will find that the world as a whole is prone to insults from Americans (ie: they are looking for an excuse to be insulted). This raises the bar for Americans trying to do business outside their borders. For those who learn the lessons and actually adapt to the world outside the US, instead of trying to make the world as it is in the US, the rewards can be great.
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 1:31:05 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal Where are CIEN and SCMR in this deal? Does this mean the Europeans will buy from Europeans and the Americans from Americans? What will the Asians do?

If optical is taking off, where does the CSCO CSR fit?
phishphood 12/5/2012 | 1:31:04 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal Telstra is the incumbent service provider in Australia. Re-locating senior staff to Europe would probably not have helped.
materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 1:31:03 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal Oops. Well, Europeans still won the deal. Why is that? Is our stuff no good?
AutoDog 12/5/2012 | 1:31:02 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal I'm don't really buy into the 'carriers only buy local' theme, but...

Telstra is the former Ma Bell of Australia. RBN is an Australian OEM startup with funding from the Australian governement.

I would be safe guess that RBN wasn't considered by accident by Telstra.

optoslob 12/5/2012 | 1:30:44 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal Does RBN still exist?
I thought that whole, Huber friendly, optical fraud game was over years ago.

I just tried www.redfernphotonics.com but failed to even locate a web site I added .au and tried a few other variants but with no luck.

Does Anyone know what is happening at Redfern these days?

Bigtex 12/5/2012 | 1:30:40 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal www.rbni.com
fbgboy 12/5/2012 | 1:30:39 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal Red is former customer/competitor, everything tied through government down there. Board members very similar in a lot of companies. Red looks dead though. Like Israeli companies, aussies companies never dead just in sleep mode, restarted when gov't RFPs go out. But other things are pickin up down under
intrigued 12/5/2012 | 1:30:33 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal This is a continuation of Marconis incumbency in Telstra. They have for years now been providing SDH ADMs through Siemens to Telstra due to history of Siemens/GPT tieup. I believe there is 10K+ exisiting marconi elements in the network.

RBN is a minor part of this.

A good reason that American companies are not involved in this is that years ago they focussed on the large SONET market development and left SDH to the Europeans. Most SDH kit for American vendors comes through European acquisitions.
dogs 12/5/2012 | 1:30:28 AM
re: Marconi Lands Telstra Deal I think it's pretty obvious that the reason American's never had a show there was that their geographic knowledge was sadly lacking...
Perhaps if Dubya was to declare war on the Aussies then his countrymen would learn to find them on a map. Hint: there are no kangaroos in Austria.
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