Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win

Marconi Communications Federal Inc., a subsidiary of Marconi Corp. plc (Nasdaq/London: MONI), said today that it has sold several of its BXR-48000 multiservice switches to an unnamed branch of the U.S. federal government. The company says the sale includes about $9 million in booked revenues for hardware and installation services (see Marconi Sells Switches to Feds ).

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

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lite-brite 12/4/2012 | 11:21:57 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win Doesn't matter, as long as they can play really fast games!:-) lol

dellman 12/4/2012 | 11:21:58 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win What kind of network Feds want to build?. IP or ATM network? or mix of both?
hyperunner 12/4/2012 | 11:22:13 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win st,
I think materialgirl is right on the money here. Uncle Sam is building a top class network for himself, while we gotta put up with "slow" cable and DSL. If you think of them as "broadband", well that's fine, I guess I got a bridge here you might like to buy. But by the definitions I remember they're someplace between narrowband and midband.

N.America, and most of Western Europe seems to be stuck in the path of building out this narrowband infrastructure (which I'm kinda OK with really as I run an ATM network).

The networks I've seen in the Far East seem to have simply bypassed this stage. OK, they still use DSL, but they run it at the top end of its bandwidth capability because it's all MTUs and short "last miles" out there.

If there's any correlation at all between the quality of the information infrastructure in a country, and that country's industrial competitiveness then I guess we're in trouble!

rjmcmahon, if you're listening I think I know what you're going to say, but are there any studies that actually validate this correlation? Seems to me all the Koreans use those fast DSL networks for is playing games.

st0 12/4/2012 | 11:22:20 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win (1) remote places should use wireless
(2) blackout is a weakness for any gear use electricity.... The electrical failure is due to de=regulation... similar to the FCC early ruling.... The Gov. network normally do not fall into FCC ruling (deregulation). off topic here...

materialgirl 12/4/2012 | 11:22:20 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win Tell that to an enterprise customer wanting to connect remote computers for disaster recovery or for remote backup. They can't do it because they can't get the fiber. Don't you think that if the Aug 14 blackout hit at 3pm est instead of 4pm that those trades in process could not have used a fast, reliable, remote fail-over?
st0 12/4/2012 | 11:22:21 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win Materialgirl said: "narrowband".....
Marconi stuff is broadband .... even it is 3 years old... it is still consider "broadband"...

As for "US" vs "Them". I would prefer Gov. had reliable network, that is not virus sensitive... Lost of communication at university required one "re-set"... Lost of communication at national security may not be able to recover as "re-set".

If Them use the expansive stuff and US use cheap gear, it make sense... It is all based on price for performance. I am sure defense network would have different requirements than civilian one. High rel high price market normally is low volume, the low rel low price market is normally high volume. the difference start from the design concept. It is not interchangeable easily (what called ruggedization is normally not work very well).

materialgirl 12/4/2012 | 11:22:24 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win The Real Deal here is that the service provider industry is being replaced by "asset based telecom" and privately owned networks. Instead of reading about SBC or BLS, we are reading about "government" buys. If this trend continues, the service providers we know of today will simply be sidelined as their offerings become increasingly obsolete (too expensive and narrowband).

Oh, by the way, it also says to us that the network that is good enough for US is not good enough for THEM ("our" government). WE have to buy THEM a nice new network that does what THEY want, while WE get to pay monster subsidies to overpaid legacy providers for narrowband garbage.
net_sting 12/4/2012 | 11:22:27 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win Looks like it's time for the next round of closure.
Big announcement in September 2002, layoff in October.
Previous deal was for peanut $1million, now it's $9million, may be more cut this time!!!
Empty box make big noise always.
st0 12/4/2012 | 11:22:30 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win The big deal is that Marconi has a proven technology with a stable platform for future growth. Not much can be said about the others in the same catagory...(care to discuss software upgrade blackout?.... ) Maturity is the key (don't want deal with screaming teenagers)

LexAlex 12/4/2012 | 11:22:30 PM
re: Marconi Scores $9M Gov't Win May be this is a sort of charity (I mean the article) :)?
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