Nokia Kills Amber Router
Amber Networks was founded in 1998 and employed 223 people at the time it was acquired. Its acquisition was one of the largest telecom-related deals in the past couple of years (see Where Have the Big Deals Gone?). The ASR2020 was a four slot, three rack unit high router that was said to support up to 32,000 PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) sessions in a single chassis.
Nokia had never announced any customers for the ASR2020, and in May 2002 it forged another edge routing relationship, when it invested $36 million in Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) in return for a 10 percent stake in that company and a board seat.
The wireless giant maintained that Redback's SmartEdge 800 router and the ASR2020 were complementary. It said the ASR2020 was better for edge routing at remote central offices (COs), while Redback's box is better suited for larger metropolitan COs (see Nokia Nabs Amber for $421M). Now Nokia is dropping the ASR2020 and continues to support ties to Redback. Since Nokia took a stake in Redback, it has consistently been among Redback's top customers, often representing 10 percent or more of Redback's quarterly revenues.
Nokia won't say how many Amber Networks employees remain from the original acquisition, but it notes that no one lost their job as a result of the ASR2020's cancellation. The technology and people are being deployed into other areas of the company according to their expertise, Nokia's spokeswoman says. "It all amounts to helping us build IP networks for mobile operators."
— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading