Narad Networks Version 3.0

Narad Networks introduced a new CEO and product solution this week. Think of it as version 3.0 of the company, which has completed a major turnaround over the last few years. Narad was founded in July 2000 at the height of the telecom bubble with the goal of enabling Gigabit Ethernet services over hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) networks. After burning through a mountain of venture capital from Polaris and other players, and alienating major MSOs with high-octane hubris, disgruntled investors forced out Narad's founders in 2003, effectively rebooting version 1.0 of the company. Under the leadership of Narad COO Chuck Kaplan, and subsequent CEOs James Norrod and John Petrillo, the company worked to slash overhead costs, patch up cable operator relationships, and gain some initial MSO deployments of its Narad Broadband Access Network (NBAN) platform, primarily for commercial service applications. The mission of Narad 2.0 was largely successful. Looking to the future, however, it seems Narad correctly concluded that its standalone coax Ethernet solution for business access offered a limited market opportunity. Particularly with DOCSIS 3.0 coming down the pipe, which promises strong competition in the delivery of high-bandwidth data services over coax. That leads us to Narad 3.0. Rather than trying to compete against DOCSIS 3.0, as well as wireless and fiber access solutions, Narad needed to find a way to embrace them. The solution: Narad's new FTTxSWITCH, essentially a fiber node Ethernet switching platform. The value proposition is that as cable operators ratchet up bandwidth to residential and business customers, switching at the node can provide significant savings in metro transport costs. Additionally, Narad is access agnostic at the node, providing the flexibility for MSOs to serve customers with Ethernet, coax or wireless links. Narad's new CEO is Michael Collette, who joins the company after serving as CEO of Ucentric Systems, another Polaris portfolio company. Motorola acquired Ucentric, developer of home media center software, in January 2005.

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