Nokia Kills Amber Router

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) acknowledged today that it has discontinued its ASR2020 edge router, the product it got when it acquired Amber Networks in an all-stock deal valued at $421 million back in July 2001. Nokia killed the product because the company "wasn't seeing as much demand for that category of edge routers" as it had expected, a Nokia spokeswoman says.

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
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Yogi 12/5/2012 | 12:49:56 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router Is Zhone the last one still alive?

Sycamore and Sonus still have a pulse.

Sycamore and Sonus started because Ascend bought Cascade. Well Sonus founders were not actually Cascade.
Ringed? 12/5/2012 | 12:49:58 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router Is Zhone the last one still alive?

Sycamore and Sonus still have a pulse.
indsavvy 12/5/2012 | 12:50:13 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router {{All I know is the product was junk and the management team was the worst I've ever worked with}}

If I remember correctly, didn't these same inept management types go to one of the core router startups after Amber? Think it was Caspian Networks. Can anyone confirm?

- savvy
slash2 12/5/2012 | 12:50:14 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router >>Amber Networks was an East Indian company. The owner(s) of ...

>>Unfortunately California has become the prime place of deception. The products produced California simply cannot be trusted.

That has to be one of the most moronic posts I have ever read.
Lancelot Lightwave 12/5/2012 | 12:50:15 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router According to this story, Nokia says they're still going to use Amber tech in the GGSN. Redback also says they are involved in Nokia's GGSN development but Nokia says Redback products will be offered for "fixed" edge routing...


lan&WanMan 12/5/2012 | 12:50:16 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router As I recall, Amber was more than 90% Indian for the first couple years until they started staffing up for the IPO (or buyout as things turned out) at which time they hired a CEO, CFO, Sales, Support, QA team, etc. Most of these VPs, were not Indian, and were hired by the CEO. The CEO was probably the best guy on the management team. The company was purchased shortly thereafter by Nokia.

Amber was a terrible place to work if you are not Indian. This was the environment that the founder/CTO created, not the employees. Amber did have some good engineers, but a poor management team and a whole lot of politics. I've never seen more politics, prejudice and preference. I'm surprised someone didn't sue them.

Gee, I don't think they laid off any Indians. They did lay off most of the white, black and hispanic employees (there were not too many anyway) before the buyout. Got rid of those lazy whites! Preference was also pretty obvious by their hiring practices except for the guys the CEO brought in.

All I know is the product was junk and the management team was the worst I've ever worked with. I'll let the product speak for itself.
metroshark 12/5/2012 | 12:50:18 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router Does this mean that Nokia might be looking into an acquisition in the edge router area? Would they consider buying Redback despite the debt load?
seeker 12/5/2012 | 12:50:18 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router Amber's ARS200 was a doom from day one. The internal politic turmoil was horrible. Too bad NOK still has to hold on to the Amber employees. I wouldn't be suprise to see them buy Redback just to get the real talents.
big daddy 12/5/2012 | 12:50:19 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router Couldn't be - the East India Company was dissolved in 1858. They mainly traded in tea and spices and, to my knowledge, they never got into the edge router business
yea_right 12/5/2012 | 12:50:20 AM
re: Nokia Kills Amber Router Bobby, How old are you ?
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