Redback Lands Deal With Williams
Redback Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: RBAK) announced this morning that Williams Communications Group (NYSE: WCG) will be deploying its SmartEdgeT 800 multiservice platform in its nationwide network.
The $120 million contract calls for Williams to deploy several SmartEdge platforms in both its metro networks and long-haul networks over the next two years.
"This is a very significant win for us and huge loss for someone else," says Larry Blair, VP of marketing for Redback. "It's a huge vote of confidence for the Smart Edge architecture."
Big deal? Yes. For one thing, this is the largest deal that Redback has sealed to date, according to Blair. Secondly, Williams remains a battleground for several optical networking vendors pursuing the metropolitan market, including ONI Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ONIS) and Sycamore Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: SCMR). The fact that Redback has gotten its foot in the door is significant.
Most importantly, however, the deal means Redback is a serious contender for some of the business in next-generation Sonet equipment. The market is currently dominated by Cisco Systems Inc.’s (Nasdaq: CSCO) 15454 device, a product that Cisco acquired from Cerent. It's a multibillion-dollar market, and Cisco claims to have raked in $1 billion in sales for its Cerent box over the last 12 months. The SmartEdge platform originated from Redback’s purchase of Siara back in October 1999. Siara and Cerent were related companies formed out of the breakup of a company called Fiberlane. Redback's product provides traditional Sonet/SDH aggregation as well as IP services, says the company. Redback hopes to differentiate its product from Cisco's by adding in a series of IP services on top of the Sonet functions.
-- Marguerite Reardon, senior editor, Light Reading, http://www.lightreading.com