Metro-Optix Adds Another Customer

Metro-Optix Inc. has found its tenth paying customer, according to Metro-Optix CEO Dave Orr. US Signal will be using MetroOptix's CityStream 5000 multiservice provisioning platform (MSPP) (see U.S. Signal Deploys Metro-Optix).

The Allen, Texas-based equipment startup also says its lead investors -- including Sevin Rosen Funds, InterWest Partners, and J.P. Morgan Partners -- have chipped in for another funding round, the company's first since August 2001. "We're holding the round open for other investors," says Orr, and the company will announce the details later this year. He declined to say how much the company is raising.

US Signal, a Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) customer, is an important win for Metro-Optix. It says it's using Metro-Optix's CityStream box for its crossconnect capabilities alongside a matrix of Cisco ONS 15454 next-generation Sonet add/drop multiplexers. The Cisco boxes handle traffic consolidation and grooming for optical interfaces, while the Metro-Optix boxes handle VT1.5 (DS1) grooming (see US Signal Tries Cisco).

Can the two vendors peacefully coexist? It's not as though Metro-Optix is muscling Cisco out of the way. But it does give Metro-Optix a place to show it can handle basic transmission and work well with a larger vendor's gear. "A lot of people are doing MSPPs, but I think we're the only one offering ATM and VT grooming in the same box," Orr says.

US Signal has installed two Metro-Optix boxes "with a third one on the way," compared to "about 60" Cisco ONS 15454s, according to Michael Struyk, the carrier's director of engineering. "We wanted to preserve the ONS 15454 matrix's current capacity for optical grooming."

US Signal also is testing Cisco's ONS 15600, a new switch used for aggregating and switching traffic in larger network interconnection points, capable of replacing several ONS 15454s (see Cisco's Fine Young Cannibal).

Metro-Optix says its investors continue to fund the company because of some promising trials it's involved in. The company had previously claimed to be in trials with WorldCom Inc. (OTC: WCOEQ), Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q), and Genuity Inc. (Nasdaq: GENU), but it has yet to announce a contract from any of those carriers.

CEO Orr says Metro-Optix employs 180 people, here and in India, down from the nearly 300 workers it had in early 2001.

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
light_rock 12/4/2012 | 9:24:00 PM
re: Metro-Optix Adds Another Customer A lot of people are doing MSPPs, but I think we're the only one offering ATM and VT grooming in the same box," Orr says.

Actually, Fujitsu introduced this capability a few years ago -- before the term "MSPP" was popular -- on its FLASH600 ADX product (now called the FLASHWAVE 4300). The VT application has become fairly important, while the ATM-SONET integration has languished.

Hmmm, two boxes installed and a third on the way...I'd guess that three boxes represents a contract of $100k-$150k, depending on the configuration. Still, a startup selling anything to anyone is news these days.


billy_fold 12/4/2012 | 9:23:55 PM
re: Metro-Optix Adds Another Customer How much VT grooming can the Metro-Optix box do in a single box?

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