Optical/IP Networks

P-Cube Tiptoes Into the Top Ten

After only two months since the last tinker, the industry's most feared and revered startup list -- Light Reading's Top Ten Private Companies -- already requires some maintenance. Just 12 days after the Privates list went live, our No. 10 pick, Telica, was snapped up by Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), securing it a permanent spot in the liquidity bin (see Lucent Buys Softswitch Vendor Telica).

So the editorial team was once again assembled at our secret hideaway to discuss the merits of the industry's privately held companies, with an eye toward picking one with truly unique technology for which an IPO or acquisition seems likely.

The job is never an easy one. Some startups are reportedly making big strides with big carriers (see Mahi Networks Inc. and Tropic Networks Inc.). Some startups appear on the cusp in very lucrative markets, but still have to prove they can fend off larger vendors and win deals with consistency (see Pedestal Networks Inc. and Mangrove Systems Inc.). Still other startups (see Corvil Ltd. and NexTone Communications Inc.) are making us wonder if this list should be 12 companies long.

This time, the private company that stood out most is P-Cube Inc. The company's products identify, classify, and manipulate traffic passing through a carrier's transport devices. The applications for that kind of technology are broad and varied, as are the kinds of potential customers these devices could have.

We think P-Cube is in the catbird seat today because P2P networks are evolving quickly. Likewise, service providers are aiming to figure out how to go from being annoyed by P2P applications to learning how to deploy them profitably.

There are other reasons, which we've laid out in our listing, but P2P was the major catalyst this time around (see P-Cube).

To review, here's the complete list of Light Reading's Top Ten Privates:

Table 1: Light Reading's Top Ten Private Companies
Position Name
1 Force10 Networks
2 Huawei Technologies
3 NetScaler
4 Calix Networks
5 Movaz Networks
6 Infinera
7 Sylantro Systems
8 Wintegra
9 Turin Networks
10 P-Cube

And here are the companies that have moved on:

Table 2: Light Reading's Liquidity Bin
Name Last Position on List
Unisphere 1
Tellium 2
Cyras 6
WaveSmith 3
Catena 3
Velio 7
Telica 10

And, finally, below is our message board, which many of you know well. Please use it to tell us whether we're right on or way off on our new pick. Or, if you're too busy, give us a quick reaction using the poll below:

— Phil Harvey, News Editor, Light Reading

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