Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M

DALLAS -- NFOEC -- Photuris Inc. made a splash here with its initial product launch, announcing an integrated DWDM and Sonet/SDH add-drop multiplexer (ADM) with automated provisioning. The Piscataway, N.J.-based firm is also close to landing a $40 million Series C round of funding, company officials said (see Photuris Automates Optical Layer).

The Photuris lot are pitching its V32000 Optical Distribution system as a next-generation metropolitan networking box that can reduce carrier costs by simplifying provisioning in delivering both DWDM and Sonet/SDH services in one system.

Using the Photuris box, carriers can build an optical networking ring, using either DWDM or Sonet/SDH, that includes up to 16 nodes, each carrying up to 320Gbit/s of capacity. These nodes can add or drop up to 32 wavelengths on each 0C-192 channel. The product puts Photuris in the running against metro DWDM and Sonet suppliers such as Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) (through it's ONI acquisition), Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), and Fujitsu Ltd. (KLS: FUJI.KL).

Initial reviews from some observers indicate that Photuris has top-notch technology and the ears of some major carriers.

"They've really done their homework and put everything in their product that people were looking for." says Doug Green, principal of the Bradam Group consultancy. Green said that he knows of at least one major ILEC that is interested in the product, but he declined to name the potential customer.

The product has several provisioning features the company feels are attractive to carriers. For example, the box allows "in-service" addition of metro networking nodes, with automated provisioning. Some metro DWDM products require engineers to take down an entire metro ring and reengineer it before adding additional service nodes, say Photuris officials. In addition, the system can handle as many as 16 nodes on each ring, say officials, while other products can max out at 5-6 nodes.

Green says the product's integrated DWDM and Sonet technology, as well as its operational features and provisioning, put it ahead of most products on the market.

"Ciena is trying to integrate its K2 product with the ONI stuff, and these guys [Photuris] have it already," said Green. "It's pretty unique, there's not much like it on the market."

Ciena declined to comment for this article.

Photuris also appears to be taking a somewhat novel approach in that it builds its own line cards out of optical components, rather than buying subsystems from a supplier. Photuris officials say this enables them to build a more integrated system and provide software features that can automate the services deployed via the line card.

The only question now is whether Photuris has the staying power as a startup to make it into large carrier networks. In the current environment, it's challenging for startups to sell to large carriers. It's more likely that Photuris will need to find a large partner or look to be acquired.

Photuris officials say now that they've built the box, they are looking for a major systems partner to help them with support and distribution. The Photuris product has been in carrier trials for 9 months, according to the company.

"The large carriers do mention the issue of partnership," says Photuris founder Ashish M. Vengsarkar. "We don't expect to build everything that's required to sell and support ILECs, so we are in discussions with several large potential partners."

Photuris seems to have recently added the expertise to pull off such deals. This year it recruited Mike Pisterzi as CEO. Pisterzi was most recently CEO of AccessLAN, a company sold to Advanced Fibre Communications Inc. (AFC) (Nasdaq: AFCI) in March for $43 million (see AFC Goes Multiservice). --R. Scott Raynovich, Executive Editor, Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com
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Lots'O'Cabbage 12/4/2012 | 9:45:28 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M This company is lucky if it can turn a round to survive. Mike Pisterzi is not going to make this one happen.

The miracles of this box are none.

There are no ILECs interested in this platform.

Boiled Over!!!
Belzebutt 12/4/2012 | 9:45:27 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M Anyone know who the interested potential partners are?
litefocus 12/4/2012 | 9:45:26 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M How does Photuris compare/compete
with Polaris Networks!
BobbyMax 12/4/2012 | 9:45:24 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M If one can tell a good story, as has Poturis done,it is still possible to find VC money. It appears to me that the company wants to sell a metro box purely on a cost basis, this would not fly with RBOCs. No RBOC in the right mind would buy products from a start-up.

What is the limit of integration? How many nodes will be supported by the metro ring? How will it support legacy systems? Why the company does not integrate Digital Cross Connects and provisioning functions into one box. It appears to me that there is nothing new in this box.
spegru 12/4/2012 | 9:45:23 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M OADMs for metro networks are a good (cheaper) thing because they avoid complete stacks of SDH/Sonet equipment. Automated optical layer setup is excellent (if it works) too.
They claim they can Carry SDH/Sonet traffic but make no mention of what tribs. Can't help suspecting that this would be via a subtended SDH/Sonet ADM

Seems alot like Nortel's OPTera Metro 5200 and various others, Marconi PMM, Ciena, etc etc - and that will be the problem for Photuris.

Wish them luck.

gwdm 12/4/2012 | 9:45:22 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M Ain't Ain't a word, so please refrain from your ignorant comments. There is so much "bad news" in this market, any shed of good news should be welcomed wih open arms. I hope they do make it...
WhiteKnight 12/4/2012 | 9:45:21 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M gwdm wrote:

Ain't Ain't a word, so please refrain from your ignorant comments. There is so much "bad news" in this market, any shed of good news should be welcomed wih open arms. I hope they do make it...


It appears that you are the ignorant one in this matter.

ain't Pronunciation Key (nt)
Nonstandard Contraction of am not.
Used also as a contraction for are not, is not, has not, and have not.
Usage Note: Ain't has a long history of controversy. It first appeared in 1778, evolving from an earlier an't, which arose almost a century earlier as a contraction of are not and am not. In fact, ain't arose at the tail end of an era that saw the introduction of a number of our most common contractions, including don't and won't. But while don't and won't eventually became accepted at all levels of speech and writing, ain't was to receive a barrage of criticism in the 19th century for having no set sequence of words from which it can be contracted and for being a Gǣvulgarism,Gǥ that is, a term used by the lower classes, although an't at least had been originally used by the upper classes as well. At the same time ain't's uses were multiplying to include has not, have not, and is not, by influence of forms like ha'n't and i'n't. It may be that these extended uses helped fuel the negative reaction. Whatever the case, criticism of ain't by usage commentators and teachers has not subsided, and the use of ain't is often regarded as a sign of ignorance. -+But despite all the attempts to ban it, ain't continues to enjoy extensive use in speech. Even educated and upper-class speakers see no substitute in folksy expressions such as Say it ain't so and You ain't seen nothin' yet. -+The stigmatization of ain't leaves us with no happy alternative for use in first-person questions. The widely used aren't I? though illogical, was found acceptable for use in speech by a majority of the Usage Panel in an earlier survey, but in writing there is no acceptable substitute for the stilted am I not?

Source: The American Heritage- Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright - 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
lr_fan 12/4/2012 | 9:45:19 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M I heard that this box has tunable lasers or OADMs. Has anyone else heard this?

With that capability, they have essentially integrated an optical switch into the ring.
thegeltz 12/4/2012 | 9:45:18 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M Though Photuris would probably be nervous having the term "optical switch" associated with its product, it does indeed incorporate MEMS, tunable filters, and tunable lasers to add the wavelength flexibility claimed by the product. It also includes ingrated SONET ADM. PacketLight has another good product which is weaker in terms of photonic layer features but has incredibly flexible sub-lambda capabilities including SONET add-drop, Layer 2 switching / aggregation, and SAN protocols.

How successful either of these companies will be in establishing a customer base remains to be seen, but anyone who assumes that the new generation of startups have no better technology (or cost model) than Nortel, Ciena/ONI, etc. have had their heads buried DEEP in the sand for quite some time. A lot of great technology has truly been wasted by the telecom downturn and service providers' (understandable) hesitation to invest in new companies. But don't give the Nortels of the world credit for superior products...
bsd_devil 12/4/2012 | 9:45:12 PM
re: Photuris Metro Box May Draw $40M
Can anyone confirm the news that mahi laid off about 50 engineers very recently? We have received at least 4 rezumez in the past week. And talking to these guys we found that about 30-50 were laid off!! I thought Mahi got 75M sometime back like about 2 or 3 months back. So, why the layoffs? Of the 4, 2 people we talked to seemed really good! So, I don't understand. But, I just want to know if the layoff-story is real before we make some selections.

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