Fujitsu names FTTP partner

FRAMINGHAM (10/14/2003) - Fujitsu Ltd. this week said it is teaming with a small, stealthy optical terminal vendor to respond to a fiber buildout bid jointly issued by three regional Bell operating companies (RBOCs) earlier this year.

Fujitsu and Entrisphere Inc., a privately-held maker of optical line terminal (OLT) gear, will demonstrate their combined fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) system at the USTA Telecom conference in Las Vegas this week. Entrisphere is a two-year-old start-up in Santa Clara, California, founded by Chief Executive Officer Mark Floyd. Floyd also founded broadband equipment vendor Efficient Networks, which was sold to Siemens AG for US$1.5 billion.

The USTA Telecom demonstration will simulate Entrisphere's BLM 1500 OLT sitting at the edge of the carrier network terminating passive optical networking traffic on an Asynchronous Transfer Mode-based PON. This traffic will then be paseed to Fujitsu SONET gear in the metro network.

The demonstration will also include optical network terminal gear made by Vinci Systems terminating PON links at customer sites.

In addition to ATM and SONET, the BLM 1500 can also bridge the PON traffic to Ethernet uplinks, as well as DSL, TDM and traditional voice lines. The BLM 1500 can also be configured to include a gateway for voice traffic, and the switch can be deployed in switching offices or remote terminals.

Entrisphere raised a second round of funding totaling $33 million from Capital Technologies CDPQ, Crosspoint Venture Partners, Duff Ackerman and Goodrich, and The Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board as well as the original investors Accel Partners and Benchmark Capital.

The three RBOCs - BellSouth, SBC and Verizon - announced their FTTP request for protocols in May. They adopted a set of common technical requirements for extending fiber optic cabling and equipment to homes and businesses to support next-generation broadband networks that deliver high-bandwidth Internet, voice and video services and applications to enterprises and residences.

The RBOCs are currently evaluating FTTP proposals. Analysts expect Verizon to announce its selected vendors before year-end, and begin buildouts next year.

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