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JDSU Readies OFC Blitz

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
3/16/2001

JDS Uniphase Inc. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), which in the recent past has seemed more occupied with toting up acquisitions than with forming a corporate marketing strategy, is about to turn up the volume.

Next week JDSU will launch a major product and marketing assault at the OFC trade show in Anaheim, Calif., where it will unveil 70 new products and launch a corporate marketing campaign designed to streamline its message, according to JDSU officials.

The portfolio of products being launched at OFC will address all of the links in an optical network, says Jay Abbe, president and COO of JDSU.

In an interview with Light Reading, Abbe declined to discuss individual products, but he said two areas of promising development include 40-Gbit/s transmission and Raman amplification technology.

The products being announced next week will address optical switching, network monitoring, dispersion compensation, and dynamic gain equalization, says Abbe. JDSU will demonstrate the products in a single, simulated, long-haul optical network on the conference floor.

"We have a new theme this year around four axes, which include capacity, reach, flexibility, and networking reliability," says Abbe. "On the capacity side at the simplest level is broader channel count and channel spacing and pushing into the L band and higher data rates. We will be pushing into 40 gigabits per second."

Important? For those interested in what the new JDSU will look like, yes. The company just assimilated two gigantic acquisitions, SDLI and ETEK Dynamics (see JDSU/E-Tek Merger Approved: No Surprises and JDSU: Less from More). At best, its corporate marketing approach in the past has been decentralized and low-key, and many have been waiting to hear the direction of the newly combined companies. The company has also been hit with a slowdown in the telecom industry that has left many analysts scratching their heads about where future growth will arise (see JDSU Cuts Guidance Again).

In the wake of the acquisitions, the company's been streamlining its sales and marketing forces. The company now comprises two main groups, the Amplification and Transmission Business Group; and the WDM, Switching, and Thin-film Business Group. Last month, the company announced it was laying off 3,000 employees to cut back expenses (see JDS Uniphase Announces Layoffs).

The Amplification and Transmission Group, formed primarily around what was once SDLI, is targeting lasers and long-haul components. It's expected to announced new developments in Raman amplification next week.

Don Scifres, former CEO of SDLI, is now president of the Amplification and Transmission Group; Abbe will be president of the WDM business group.

-- R. Scott Raynovich, executive editor,Light Reading http://www.lightreading.com

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