Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win
Though the Feds are suppressing much of the information about the deal, Marconi was able to convey the good news. Specifically, though Marconi likely won't see a slice of the government's Global Information Grid Bandwidth Expansion (GIG-BE) business, there is still much government business to be won in the telecom equipment sector, and Marconi is showing that its gear is carrier-grade enough to get the job done.
Marconi spokesman Geof Becker says the government agency buying the BXR this time around is different from the one that first purchased the BXR, as the company announced in September 2002.
"When we invented the product there was a lot of question as to whether there was a need for this product," says Becker. Now, however, it seems that the BXR is finding its way. "We certainly do expect additional sales of the BXR into additional agencies of the government."
Marconi's BXR-48000 is multiservice switch that's designed to operate as an all-IP router, an MPLS switch, an ATM switch, or all three simultaneously (see Marconi Unveils Big Switch/Router, Marconi Gets a Boost, and Marconi's Switch Gets Tolly-fied). Moreover, the box is said to be able to operate at transmission speeds ranging from 40 Gbit/s to 480 Gbit/s. The appeal in a switch such as Marconi's is that, depending on how it's configured, it can stand in as a pure ATM switch or it can provide a way for a customer to start carrying more IP and MPLS traffic, without requiring additional, data-specific network elements (see Multiservice Switches).
The Department of Defense’s Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) was the first to trial the BXR and, in September 2002, the DoD became the first to order the product from Marconi.
In December 2002, Marconi announced it had sold a BXR to a leading European financial institution (see Marconi Sells a Switch-Router). Becker also says Marconi has booked revenues from a third government agency for the BXR-48000, though it hasn't announced that deal yet.
If you're counting, that's four customers so far for a product that was announced way back in November 2000.
Marconi's government business is a significant part of its yearly sales, but it's hard to say specifically how much the BXR sales have added over the years. The government is the single largest customer of Marconi's Broadband Routing and Switching (BBRS) product group and the company's financial filings say its installed base of BBRS products in government networks is worth about $1.3 billion.
In fiscal 2003, Marconi's BBRS business contributed about 6 percent of its total revenues, or about $138 million. In fiscal 2002, Marconi's BBRS business contributed about 4 percent of its total revenues, or about $149 million. Marconi's next financial update will be on October 23.
— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading