May 22, 2000
Cisco Deal Expands Service Flexibility
Purchase of startup will let vendor offer services with more bandwidth at lower cost
By Bob Wallace
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Qeyton, along with Nortel Networks and Lucent Technologies, makes Dense Wave-Division Multiplexing technology. When attached to fiber-optic metropolitan area networks, DWDM lets carriers offer businesses managed or unmanaged services to tie sites together in a fiber ring or link them using point-to-point fiber connections.
Qeyton's DWDM technology will be integrated with optical products in Cisco's expanding Optical Networking Solutions 15000 line. Cisco expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter.
Carriers such as Metromedia Fiber Networks Inc. are beginning to use DWDM equipment--originally designed to provide benefits to saturated and inflexible carrier networks--to offer services with greater bandwidth and let users add capacity in days instead of weeks or months at lower costs.
"I see a huge market for these services, especially if the carrier provides a complete managed package for a monthly fee," says Steve Lopez, architect of enterprise infrastructure and networking at the National Board of Medical Examiners in Philadelphia. "From a cost standpoint, that's far more attractive than the original options of building and running your own or having a carrier build [a metropolitan area network] just for you."
DWDM technology makes the most of fiber by letting different types of network traffic run over separate wavelengths in a single optical fiber. The equipment gives the carriers the ability to add additional wavelengths in a few days or less, which better fits companies' growing bandwidth needs.
Because DWDM equipment is more efficient than older alternatives and obviates the need to replace existing fiber, "carriers cut their costs and are beginning to pass savings along to those who buy DWDM services," says Daniel Briere, founder of consulting firm TeleChoice. "I definitely expect businesses will see many of these type services by year's end."
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