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Optical/IP

Touch America Touches Tellabs

Tellabs Inc. (Nasdaq: TLAB; Frankfurt: BTLA) today disclosed the identity of another customer for its Tellabs 6400 transport switch. The customer -- Touch America Inc., the Butte, Mont.-based telecom subsidiary of Touch America Holdings Inc. (NYSE: TAA) -- is also using the Tellabs 5320LS digital crossconnect system, Tellabs says (see Tellabs Transports Touch America).

The Tellabs equipment has already been installed in Denver, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, and will soon be turned up in Chicago and Portland, according to Ed Kennedy, senior VP of Tellabs' metro networking group.

Since Tellabs' last earnings call, industry observers have speculated over the identity of the seven unnamed carriers that bought its 6400 switch last quarter (see Tellabs Sees Progress With 6400). The company's only announced customer for the 6400 was, until now, Broadwing Inc. (NYSE: BRW), though it has acknowledged being in trials with at least one RBOC.

"[Touch America] is using the 6400 to connect frame relay, narrowband grooming, and high-speed Internet, and they're building a more distributed switching architecture that allows them to save tons and tons of money," says Kennedy. "Now they don't have multiple platforms to provision, and they don't have to send multiple technicians in trucks. They can pull all of this off with one device... and save a lot of money."

Financial terms of the equipment purchase were not disclosed.

Touch America also uses Nortel Networks Corp.'s (NYSE/Toronto: NT) OPTera Connect HDX optical switch, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) ONS 15200 metro DWDM box in different areas of its network (see Nortel Touches America and Cisco Marches Deeper Into the Metro).

— Phil Harvey, Senior Editor, Light Reading
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