Ciena invests in multiservice optical transport vendor

FRAMINGHAM (09/25/2003) - Ciena Corp. made another move to expand its market presence with an investment in and resale arrangement with Luminous Networks Inc., a provider of multiservice optical transport platforms.

Ciena, along with DCM-Doll Capital Management, was the lead investor in Luminous' $25 million Series-E round. The amount of stake for Ciena as a new investor was not disclosed.

The Luminous arrangement is the latest in a string of similar deals Ciena has formed recently in an effort to broaden beyond its metro and long-haul optical switching and transport markets. The company acquired WaveSmith Networks, a maker of multiservice edge switches, and has investments and resale arrangements with Equipe Communications and Laurel Networks.

Equipe makes multiservice core switches and Laurel makes service edge routers. Ciena also bought metro optical platform vendor ONI Systems in 2002.

Like those deals, Ciena will market, sell and support Luminous' PacketWave line of products. For Luminous, the Ciena partnership expands its worldwide sales presence and credibility with large incumbent carriers.

PacketWave products are based on a precursor to the emerging IEEE 802.17 Resilient Packet Ring (RPR) standard for packet-optimized metro ring networks. That Luminous-developed precursor, Resilient Packet Transport (RPT), supports Stratum timing distribution - which synchronizes TDM voice circuits - traffic shaping, congestion-management mechanisms, and Differentiated Services mapping into MPLS for QoS and traffic engineering.

Like RPR, RPT utilizes the entire ring topology in both directions, rather than allocating unused protection channels for half the ring bandwidth, as is the case with SONET.

PacketWave products provision and aggregate Ethernet data, TDM voice, and video and wavelength services. PacketWave interoperates with Ciena's ONLINE Metro, ONLINE Edge, CoreDirector and the DN product lines, and the companies are also currently working to integrate PacketWave into Ciena's ON-Center Management Suite.

Luminous says it is shipping products for revenue to major telecommunications carriers, cable service providers, and enterprise customers in the U.S. and internationally. The company says it has shipped more than 40,000 ports and more than 1,200 PacketWave products since late 2000.

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