Luminous Crew Gets Brilliant
Brilliant Telecommunications Inc. (get it? Luminous? Brilliant?) made its debut at CTIA in March and followed that up with a booth at NXTcomm this week. The company has a staff of about 30 and raised $7.1 million in Series A funding early this year from Asset Management Co. , Draper Richards LP , and Onset Ventures .
Luminous founder Charles Barry started Brilliant Telecom about two years ago. On board are about a half dozen former Luminites, including VP of engineering George Zhao and VP of marketing Link Verstegen.
You'll remember Luminous as a proponent of Resilient Packet Ring (RPR), a standard crafted to squeeze more bandwidth from Sonet/SDH rings. The buzz around RPR faded with the telecom bust, however, and Luminous closed its doors. Adtran Inc. (Nasdaq: ADTN) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) still sell Luminous's RPR technology, Verstegen says. (See Luminous Still Twinkles.)
So how'd they go from RPR to this seemingly obscure issue of timing? "One of the main pieces of our version of RPR was that we could carry better-than-Sonet timing," Verstegen says.
In TDM networks, data is transmitted along with timestamps. But as networks move to IP and Ethernet, that sense of timing is lost, since a packet network doesn't require the strict time divisions needed in a Sonet or T1 line.
That's presenting problems in wireless backhaul, for example, as carriers try to put Ethernet to use. It turns out lots of applications and services rely on the timestamp provided in TDM.
"This stuff has been taken for granted, and now people are having to scramble," Symmetricom Inc. (Nasdaq: SYMM) senior vice president Gurdip Jande told Light Reading in October. "This has caught them by surprise."
Likewise, applications like VOIP and IPTV can benefit from timing. The technology can help indicate what sequence the packets go in, since it's possible for IP data to arrive out of order. Timestamps can also help in keeping track of jitter and latency.
Symmetricom, which sells various timing and synchronization products, racked up "significant sales to major carriers" last year, Jande claimed. The only one disclosed so far is Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T). (See Telus Picks Symmetricom.)
"Symmetricom is certainly the gorilla in this space," Verstegen says. "But they don't really have an end-to-end network solution today."
Brilliant intends to counter Symmetricom by offering timing appliances that can talk to each other, providing some redundancy in case one goes down. The idea is to create a network of shared timing information, as opposed to offering isolated timing appliances, Verstegen says.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading