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Infinera's New Euro Scalp

7:15 AM -- Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) has a new European customer for its high-capacity DTN-X platform that could give it a back-door entry into global mobile giant Vodafone Group plc (NYSE: VOD). (See Infinera Unleashes Coherent 100G.)

Cable & Wireless Worldwide plc (London: CW), which operates an international network that reaches 150 countries worldwide, is to deploy Infinera's platform on its portion of the Europe Persia Express Gateway (EPEG) network.

The EPEG network will run for 10,000 kilometers from Frankfurt in Germany to Oman (mostly terrestrial, with only 246km running undersea), with Cable & Wireless Worldwide (C&WW) responsible for building the part that runs from Frankfurt to the Ukraine/Russia border.

The network is due to go live in May 2012, by which time C&WW's corporate fate might be a bit clearer. That's because the operator is currently being assessed for potential acquisition by Tata Communications Ltd. and Vodafone, two accounts not currently in the Infinera customer portfolio. (See Euronews: Tata Considers C&WW Bid and Euronews: Vodafone Eyes M&A Opportunity.)

It's possible, then, that the EPEG deployment could prove to be much more than just a new European engagement for Infinera: If either of the current suitors swallows C&WW then the new contract could result in enhanced opportunities with an even bigger hitter in the international communications sector.

So keep an eye out for what happens with C&WW in the coming weeks...

Even without any M&A-aided follow-on opportunities, the new deal gives Infinera a new DTN-X customer to talk about. Also worth noting for Infinera watchers is that two other European operators, Telia Carrier and existing European customer Interoute Communications Ltd. , have also put the DTN-X platform through its paces. (See TeliaSonera, Infinera Trial 500Gbit/s Super-Channels and Interoute Checks Out Infinera's DTN-X.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International Managing Editor, Light Reading

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