Marconi to 'Streamline' Access

Marconi PLC (Nasdaq/London: MONI) is undergoing a massive overhaul and reevaluation of its access product line, the company confirmed today.

"We are categorically not closing our access division," says spokesman Joe Kelly. "But we are streamlining our access portfolio."

Kelly is careful to emphasize that any layoffs associated with the revamping of Marconi's access division will be within the 4,000 job reductions Marconi estimated in its January guidance (see Marconi To Lay Off Another 4,000).

So what stays, what goes? Here's a rundown:

  • What goes:

    Deep Fiber PON (passive optical networking) gear for fiber to the home (FTTH) will be discontinued, Marconi says.

  • What stays:

    Deep Fiber DMP (Distributed Multiservice Platform), a system that links leased lines, xDSL, and other access connections to Sonet (Synchronous Optical NETwork) and SDH (Synchronous Digital Hierarchy) links in metro areas, will stay. Marconi's Access Hub, an Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)-based edge switch supporting a range of access technologies, is also staying.

  • What's being reconsidered:

    Marconi's WipLL (Wireless IP Local Loop), a radio transmission product, is being reevaluated with an eye to possibly partnering with a third party to market and develop it.Marconi's MDMS (Marconi Digital Multipoint System) and point-to-point MDRS (Marconi Digital Radio System) will be "refocused" strictly toward providers of 3G wireless feeder networks. These products are presently being aimed at the market in Germany, Marconi says.

None of the above news will affect existing customers, which will continue to be supported by Marconi, insists Kelly. Still, it's bound to poke a hole in some of the ongoing PON trials Marconi's been engaged in (see Fiber to Home: Dream Deferred?) -- not to mention the deal it has for FTTH with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) (see Verizon Deploys Marconi).

All told, Marconi's product choices seem to make sense. The PON market is growing slowly, although recent fundings indicate investor faith in a 2003 market upswing (see Salira Secures $7 Million More).

In contrast, Marconi appears to be set to stake a claim against players such as Alcatel SA (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA) and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), as carriers take renewed interest in ATM multiservice switches (see Nortel Unveils Passport 20000, The Great ATM Switch Blitz, and A New Optical Taxonomy).

On the downside, it's not yet clear how many employees associated with Marconi's access division will be let go. Rumors are swirling in the Richardson, Texas, area, where much of the access division is headquartered. Sources say recruiters are being told of a large-scale layoff within the near term. Marconi would not confirm specifics.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
sgamble 12/4/2012 | 10:50:07 PM
re: Marconi to 'Streamline' Access The old FORE team in Pittsburgh was hit recently. My wifes brother was on some senior marketing team there and he was axed about a month ago and said more were coming... :(

sinorat 12/4/2012 | 10:50:04 PM
re: Marconi to 'Streamline' Access PON, I don't know fellas. Even Marconi is dumping the line. Looks like it as strong a contender for the "ideas that didn't quite catch on list" as, hmmm, bubble memmory? Ah, the Cadillac 4-6-8 engine? Uh, Seven-day underware? I know, I know, Hillary's medical plan. And some of you fellas in Andover were crappin' on DSL. Hello, Mr Q, er I mean Mr Pot? This is Mr Kettle...
Ah the elusive bag-o-cash. Maybe next year? Knock, knock... oh it looks like the repo man... guess not next year either.
_________ 12/4/2012 | 10:50:00 PM
re: Marconi to 'Streamline' Access Quantum bridge. How can they possibly still be alive?
$COMPX 12/4/2012 | 10:49:55 PM
re: Marconi to 'Streamline' Access and what happened to wavesmith on the access side?
sinorat 12/4/2012 | 10:49:54 PM
re: Marconi to 'Streamline' Access Shear bloody arrogance and unparalleled bombast keeps that courpse animated. Pity, seems PON is truely a solution in search of an ash can. Lots of hard work, all for not. A clue guys: youGÇÖre DEAD! Go lay DOWN! Oh and cheer up, the economy is turning around. But, guess what? Copper lives! Think BROADBAND! An Wang was right!
Big Bear 12/4/2012 | 10:49:49 PM
re: Marconi to 'Streamline' Access Sinorat-
Open your mind stubborn one!

Yours is not the only way!

Sound Familiar?
optobozo 12/4/2012 | 10:49:41 PM
re: Marconi to 'Streamline' Access BORING! SINORAT- BORING!

I think it's time you change your 7-day shorts and take a nap with your Mr. Q. doll in your cube. Frankly, I find Jack Valenti's accusations that faster broadband means more crime to be more insightful and original.

I think it too bad that Marconi couldn't perfect their PON or have the patience to see it through. You might recall that Cisco and Wellfleet didn't exactly set the world on fire their first four or five years at it, either. Seems to me most of the big players took quite a while to get where they are.

It's time to put your bad memories in a bubble, send them off in your favorite Cadillac and get over it before you need Hillary's medical plan. If QB ever does amount to anything, I don't suppose you'll burn any of your QB stock after the fact, eh?
db 12/4/2012 | 10:49:38 PM
re: Marconi to 'Streamline' Access What's the deal with the BXR they were talking about 2 years ago. Is it in trials anywhere, I thought it was supposed to be delivered in 2001?
sinorat 12/4/2012 | 10:48:53 PM
re: Marconi to 'Streamline' Access QB stock! I race cars, I collect guns, I play poker with thughs, I shoot pool with gangsters but QB stock is too big a risk, even for me. I'll pass. Thanks.
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