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Petabit 12/4/2012 | 9:17:27 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm The basic premise of Qtera (and Corvis) was to use optical compensation techniques instead of electrical ones to carry very long distance traffic.

At the time (1998) 10G electronics were very expensive, so it seemed a logical argument to use optical compensation to carry your trans-US traffic. Coupled with the explosive growth of the US networks, ULR systems seemed like a home run.

ULR systems are really only of use in North America, and rely on the fact that 10G electronics were expensive. With the frezze on new network builds, and the rapidly decreasing cost of 10G electronics, ULR has missed its market window.

There were two resons why Nortel bought Qtera: 1. It had enough developers to build either 40G or 10G ULR, not both. So it bought 10G ULR and developed 40G in-house. 2. To protect its market share by stopping anyone else getting into the ULR market space.

Qtera was not a failure. The equipment turned out to be harder to develop than anyone thought (similar to Corvis), and the market went away. So it got shut down.

shaggy 12/4/2012 | 9:17:22 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm Qtera was not a failure. The equipment turned out to be harder to develop than anyone thought (similar to Corvis), and the market went away. So it got shut down.
Not to mention the market cooled down, which took away the motivation to finish it off.

The value of the ULH effort had benefits across the board for the transport industry. Sort of like applying racing technology to street vehicles- most of the base LH systems saw dramatic improvement in capacity and reach as a result of the efforts to develop ULH capabilities.

Of course, we now suffer the hangover from that party...

Also, don't forget Mr. Diner moved across the street from Siemens, his previous emloyer, to start the company. Siemens filed suit against Qtera for IP infringements. Not sure entirely how this was settled, but it further clouds the waters re Qtera's technology.
spikely 12/4/2012 | 9:17:18 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm Indeed Mr. Diner is a visionary...a marketing genius. He realized the opportunity for and proceeded with ULH to such an extent that multiple companies, Nortel included, believed they could gain significant strategic advantage with the acquisition of Qtera. Who at Nortel advocated the purchase of Qtera? The answer is...their best and brightest. Did the Qtera products boast some amazing features that older legacy systems could not add? Yes!!! Did the Qtera product need polishing with the company only being in existence for over a year when Nortel bought it? Yes, of course!! Did it get the chance to do that? No. A combination of market dynamics and job preservation in Ottawa sealed it's fate.

LetGÇÖs give credit where credit is due...Fahri's vision resulted in Qtera and gave birth to a product which raised the bar in the long haul arena.

gea 12/4/2012 | 9:17:16 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm Fahri Diner also came from Pirelli in South Carolina...he was probably involved in the development of their Teramux (the first ULH product, I think). At the time, he had optical an optical lab in his basement.

No, Diner's no dummy, and no optical outsider. He knew his stuff, and probably had a good idea of the difficulties involved in ULH. So based on that, and on the Tradeshow demos that used real (albeit ideal) fiber, I'm sure the thing "worked" on a certain level.

Meanwhile, Nortel and others at the time thought it was vital to have a complete, end-to-end portfolio, and everybody thought ULH was one of those pieces (it may still end up that way...). Note too that Qtera (I think) predates Corvis, or at least predates anything anyone ever heard about Corvis at the time.
grateful photon 12/4/2012 | 9:17:07 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm Big Daddy wrote:

GP you asked the right question, but,
To say: they duped people with hype about "lasers" and "photons".
ignores some of the basics of optical networking. It is all about lasers and photons. Qtera lead the way for many Ultra long haul startups. They had the first chance to commercialize the dispersion managed quasi soliton solution.

i understand. to clarify, i enclosed the terms lasers and photons in quotes to invoke the image of mike myers in austin powers....talking about lasers as if they are some novel technology to be availed upon the communications space. solitons and dispersion management are not new concepts and a more realistic estimation of their practical application to legacy fiber networks is available in the literature at least a decade before the founding of qtera. if you were going to honestly pitch this, then you should do your homework without being disengenuous about it's chances for success.

vision without pragmatic assessment is not the stuff of successful entrepreneurs. (the latter word indicating that delivering is a key part of building new business.) you can get vision from many quarters like universities, research labs, and national labs. you can get entrepreneurship from ron popeil (ronco pocket fisherman). it's the very difficult and unique temperance that marries the two to become both visionary and an entrepreneur.

ccbonnet 12/4/2012 | 9:17:05 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm Amazed at the ignorance exhibited by many Fahri bashers here. I worked for Qtera and did not make money out of the NT deal. But I did get to know of Fahri's telecom vision and his business acumen. At that time Qtera raised the bar for ULH transport in price & peformance, not without problems in SW and optical components. And for those ignoramuses "There are quite a FEW Qtera systems in the field today deployed by 3 carriers". It was a shame that soon after NT bought Qtera and the 40G market became a fantasy the vested interests in Ottawa never let LH4000 to be fully developed. PM was promoting LH5000 by quickly throwing in some chartware to show it as a 10G product that is 40G upgradable. They finally killed the 4000 to promote the 10G 5000
grateful photon 12/4/2012 | 9:17:03 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm
excellent...edify us please. i admitted my uninformed background on qtera deliveries- this is a chance to set the record straight!

tell us about the qtera systems that are deployed. how many kilometers? regen distances? commercial traffic or trials?

ccbonnet 12/4/2012 | 9:17:01 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm There are a few systems in Genuity network and a global crossing submarine link at the least. Both running real traffic. I do not remember anything more out of my head though I know that there is at least one more customer. Is'nt that enough news to convince oneself of one's ignorance?


IMO, LH4000 was killed by those in Ottawa that percieved that a successful LH4000 would eliminate the need for a LH5000, which was also turning out to be a 10G product. LH4000 was not without problems, but there was never a focus to make it better.
single mode figure 12/4/2012 | 9:16:59 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm Mr Dinar hatched his startup when in the advance optical group at siemens, along with others. Qtera had many optical amplifiers on a node. not a practical photonics system. During the era of the flip Fahri got rich leveraging irrational values at his startup which was callled photon beach and some other name. All in all I'm sure it's his money that is driving his stature with the vc community.
LightSeeking 12/4/2012 | 9:16:57 PM
re: Qtera Founder Joins VC Firm Petabit,

With all due respect, not recognizing that the equipment you are claiming to shine with, is in fact very difficult to build for specific reasons, is a failure in my opinion.

And BTW, Qtera could not build 40G if their life depended on it.


Qtera was not a failure. The equipment turned out to be harder to develop than anyone thought (similar to Corvis), and the market went away. So it got shut down.

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