Fiberoptics Industry Report

JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Acterna (Germantown, MD), a provider of broadband and optical test and management (T&M) solutions for service providers and network equipment vendors worldwide.

JDS Uniphase to acquire Acterna

JDS Uniphase (San Jose, CA) announced a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Acterna (Germantown, MD), a provider of broadband and optical test and management (T&M) solutions for service providers and network equipment vendors worldwide. Under the terms of the agreement, JDS Uniphase will acquire Acterna for $760 million, comprising $450 million in cash and $310 million in JDS Uniphase’s common stock, subject to adjustments.

Acterna, which employs approximately 1770 people worldwide, will become JDS Uniphase’s Communications T&M product group, led by John Peeler, a 25-year veteran of Acterna, the company’s president and CEO.

Marconi cuts 800 jobs after losing contract

Telecom equipment group Marconi (London, England) was plunged into crisis at the end of April by its failure to land a lucrative network upgrade contract. The company was not selected as preferred supplier for BT’s next-generation 21st Century Network project. In a rapid response to the news, Marconi said it was cutting 800 jobs in England.

The optical-networking group has 4300 staff in England, including 1650 people in Coventry, 630 in Liverpool, and 350 in Beeston; the goal is to merge product units with its regional business organizations. Marconi claims that these changes will enable the company to dismantle much of the current U.K.-based central operations organization, leading to significant cost savings.

ZTE to install first DWDM network in Bulgaria

ZTE (Shenzhen, Hong Kong), ­China’s largest listed telecommunications manufacturer, is to install Bulgaria’s first dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing (DWDM) network in a contract with Cabletel (Sofia, Bulgaria), a fixed-line operator. The 500-km network will connect Bulgaria with Turkey and Romania and will provide 2.5-Gbit/s and 10-Gbit/s transmission to customers.

Shibin Jiang of NP Photonics receives Gottardi Prize

The International Commission on Glass (ICG) selected Shibin Jiang, chief technical officer of NP Photonics, as the recipient of the prestigious Gottardi Prize in recognition of his outstanding individual accomplishments in the field of glass. The Gottardi Prize, initiated in 1987 in memory of Prof V. Gottardi, is awarded annually to a young scientist/engineer, younger than 40 years old, with outstanding achievements in glass research and development.

FiberFest attendance stabilizes

FiberFest 2005 was held in Boxborough, MA, on May 2, and in Somerset, NJ, on May 9. Although attendance for Boxborough this year was similar to last year (450 attendees) and attendance for Somerset was down slightly (125 attendees in 2005 versus 200 in 2004), FiberFest chairperson Marjorie Katz from Optimark Fiber Optics (Chestnut Hill, MA) noted that the size of FiberFest was back to where it was in 1999 and 2000 prior to the short-lived telecom “boom.”

OZ Optics targets U.S. market with Tucson facility

A memo of understanding signed more than a year ago by the University of Arizona (Tucson, AZ) and Carleton University (Ottawa, ON, Canada) to launch up to 10 joint projects in optical sciences and biomedicine was one of the factors that influenced OZ Optics (Ottawa, ON, Canada) to open a small manufacturing and testing plant at the University of Arizona Science and Technology Park in Tucson. Marcelo Grinfeld, VP of business development at OZ Optics, notes that in addition to the strong research and business ties between Ottawa and Tucson, Tucson’s proximity to California, where OZ has many customers, was a major factor in the decision.

Also in the news . . .

ElectroniCast (San Mateo, CA) released a new market forecast for modulators used in optical communications; according to the report, the worldwide consumption value of electro-optic modulators serving the 40-Gbit/s market reached over $1.6 million in 2004, and will reach $74.4 million by 2007. . . . NP Photonics (Tucson, AZ), a supplier of optical components and modules, has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by the Air Force Research Laboratories at Kirkland Air Force Base worth $750,000 over the next two years to further develop its compact Panoramic Optical Power Amplifier for two-dimensional image amplification. . . . Lynx Photonic Networks (Calabasas Hills, CA) signed OrbitIQ (Ottawa, ON, Canada) to sell its optical switching products through the OrbitIQ North American channel. . . . Photop Technologies (Fuzhou, China) is teaming with Primanex (Quingdao, China) to leverage Photop’s volume production platform for its magnetic-optical products, including switches and attenuators. Photop will enhance their OEM product offering and Primanex will improve their manufacturing capability.

More in Research