Movaz Makes Its Milestones

Movaz Networks Inc. is readying a slew of announcements this week aimed at fulfilling early claims to be in full production of its optical switching and transmission package, with customers, by the start of 2002 (see Movaz on the Move, Movaz Makes a Splash, and Movaz Moves Up).

The startup says it's shipping all its announced products and has roughly $20 million in contracts from a half dozen or so service providers worldwide. It's also announcing two supply deals with key integrators in the Asia/Pacific region.

"We now have our full product portfolio in the hands of customers," boasts CEO Bijan Khosravi. "We're one of the first to offer unified dense WDM transport, switching, and intelligent routing."

Here are the highlights of this week's planned rollout:

  • Contract with Syringa Networks LLC. Movaz will supply gear to light a 1,100-kilometer fiber optic network in rural Idaho being constructed by Syringa, a consortium of 12 rural telcos. (The consortium has no Website-- it's unclear whether there's a connection with Syringa Internet Service, also of Idaho.) The Sonet-based network is aimed at connecting businesses, residences, educational and health care providers, libraries, and governmental agencies. Work starts in March and will include all of Movaz's product line (see Movaz Scores in Idaho ).

    Khosravi's not giving the specific value of the Syringa agreement, but he says it's a multimillion-dollar deal. He's also careful to add that Syringa is the first contract Movaz is free to publicize, but it's not the company's only customer.

  • Availability of RAYstar. Movaz says this 320-wavelength box will be its high-end flagship, capable of switching and routing wavelengths based on an early implementation of GMPLS (generalized multiprotocol label switching - see Optical Signaling Systems). The RAYstar supports 2.5- and 10-Gbit/s Sonet connections and supports gigabit Ethernet -- but no 10-Gbit/s Ethernet at this time. "We have not seen significant demand for a 10-Gbit/s transport capability yet," Khosravi says.

    The seven-foot RAYstar bay is the last, and the most important, product in Movaz's portfolio to hit the streets, so news of its full availability is significant for the company. RAYstar is meant to link central offices and points of presence to Movaz CPE gear, called the RAYexpress, a small optical add/drop multiplexer. An amplifier called the RAYextender will help both RAYstar and RAYexpress extend beyond 600km distances. Graphical software called RAYtracer is offered for management and provisioning.

  • Supply contracts in Asia/Pacific. Movaz has signed with integrator CommVerge Solutions for distribution of its wares in China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand. CommVerge also distributes products from ONI Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ONIS) and Riverstone Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RSTN}; and it has two investors in common with Movaz -- Oak Investment Partners and WorldView Technology Partners.

    Movaz has signed another deal with Japanese distributor NextCom, which also handles products from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), and Marconi PLC (Nasdaq/London: MONI).

In the world of optical networking, the rare ability to hit a promised deadline deserves kudos. And Movaz has hit several of them. Indeed, since its inception in summer 2000, Movaz's ability to live up to the expectations it sets in terms of product release dates and other milestones has been laudable.

But no good deed goes unpunished, especially in the highly competitive world of next-generation telecom gear. While Movaz is clearly making the right moves, industry sources insist that a company isn't "made" until a major carrier signs on. And so far, Movaz can't show the goods. Indeed, it had a major disappointment, when an early agreement with Genuity Inc. (Nasdaq: GENU) went belly up.

Still, Movaz has more to show for its two years in business than do many other startups, including would-be competitor Meriton Networks Inc., which is also well funded (with $92 million).

And more news is reportedly on the way: Khosravi says both CommVerge and NextCom have sold Movaz products to customers that can't be named. He says a major European carrier is running live traffic to two Swiss banks using Movaz's gear. Announcements of North American trials loom on the horizon. And completion of the vendor's first phase of Osmine certification from Telcordia Technologies Inc. is set for announcement within the next few weeks.

Ultimately, though, Movaz's products will need to meet the acid test of acceptance by incumbent carriers. Any inability to achieve this could eclipse these early successes, and vendors with fewer milestones met could conceivably pull beyond Movaz in the race for choice contracts.

As ever, Khosravi is brimming with confidence. "We will be one of the two companies offering unified transport solutions who will survive," he maintains.

— Mary Jander, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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Dick Butkiss 12/4/2012 | 10:59:09 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones When will these marketing departments learn?!

Deploying boxes to barns in Idaho?!!! Signing distribution agreements on the other side of the earth?

LR would normally have skewered this company, like they did about similar announcements from companies like Alidian, Mayan, Zaffire and countless others? And in theory they should have skewered Movaz even harder, but instead they are being spoon-fed this story!

What makes the cash-strapped and failing Movaz any better than the companies that have failed before it?!!!
high plains drifter 12/4/2012 | 10:59:06 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones one thing they've always said about Dick Butkiss: he knows the game.

substitute Movaz for (metro optical startup of your choice). asian distribution deals, a public utility in montana, and certain "trials of a customer that we can't name" doesn't add up to squat. we've heard it 8 times before.

LR: pull your noses out of Awduche's ass.

kp9988 12/4/2012 | 10:59:04 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones This is clearly a sign of big trouble -- need more money to survive... laid off CTO/sales/ optical PhDs... We all have seen similar stories too many times.
lilgatsby 12/4/2012 | 10:59:02 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones Clarifications:
1. Try $2M. & that's before the Taiwan reseller rebates.

2. Project funded by John Q Taxpayer through the USDA RUS. Oddly enough accepted products must be listed before funds can be allocated, anyone see Movaz on this list? Hey Uncle Sam, check your list twice before handing over my tax money. www.usda.gov/rus/telecom/mater...

3. A statewide network for 12 Telcos serving most every small city in Idaho including schools, hospitals and some govt is being handed to a start-up with one unnamed customer in Europe. Smart move Governor Kempthorne, hope the 3% tax cut is worth scrapping $2mil worth of Taiwan plastic.

lo_mein_noodles 12/4/2012 | 10:59:00 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones Let's start a betting pool for the exact date that the Movaz banners start showing up on the LR homepage! I don't think I've ever seen a suck up press release/ interview that actually shows the picture of the guy your butt kissing LR!! You must really be enamored by movass :-)
skeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:58:56 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones
That deal in idaho is so stupid that it deserves
an investigation by someone. Everything about
it just screams "wrong". Somehow, I dont think
rural Idaho is screaming out for wavelength
services and GMPLS.

And I've got news for the martin group, a project
of a large scope such as this would suggest a
simplier, risk-averse and more cost-effective
solution than deploying unproven products from
a startup that nobody very big is even dealing

I mean given what I know about the ray product,
it seems like terrible overkill to apply it
to that sort of problem.

And somehow I think most rural residential and
business customer's problems are probably
more "last (ten) mile(s)" sorts of things rather
than wavelength services.

But give them credit. The Movaz strategy of
creating a perception that is totally at odds
with reality though these sorts of deals is
really amazing.

Gastroenterologist 12/4/2012 | 10:58:54 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones Mary - LR has been successful at uncovering "contracts with small midwestern utilities and reseller agreement" stories at otherwise unviable metro optical start-ups.

However, despite the same tell-tale signs, LR seems to be much more enthusiastic about Movaz. I have heard disconcerting things about the company. Do they have lots of large contracts in the pipeline?
SINO 12/4/2012 | 10:58:37 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones Folks,

Quit your bellyaching. If you are in the telecom industry, you should be glad that there is still revenue to be made and someone is making it. The Movaz news is at least better than all of the disasterous earning reports and tanking stocks!
skeptic 12/4/2012 | 10:58:20 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones Quit your bellyaching. If you are in the telecom industry, you should be glad that there is still revenue to be made and someone is making it. The Movaz news is at least better than all of the disasterous earning reports and tanking stocks!

Thats right. What we need to turn around telcom
is phony revenue reports from startups. I didn't
find the announcements about wavelength services
in rural idaho or mysterous customers in europe
and asia to be very encouraging. People want
to see real revenue and credible customers, not
imagineering spin.
self 12/4/2012 | 10:58:05 PM
re: Movaz Makes Its Milestones Anyone know any details behind the OOO fabric that is in the system as it is available today?

Their web site mentions a wonderful MEMS tech from BF Goodrich that is 400x400 today and scales to 1000k. But, they seem to be quite vague on the details of what is actually in the box available today.
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