Sunday, May 15, 2005

ECI Acquires Laurel Networks for IP/MPLS Edge Router

ECI Telecom agreed to acquire Laurel Networks, a supplier of IP/MPLS multi-service edge routers, for $88 million in cash. Laurel's line of multi-service edge routers provide Internet class routing, Layer 2 switching and broadband subscriber management functions. The product line includes its flagship ST200 Service Edge Router, which boasts 160 Gbps throughput, and the ST50 Service Edge Router, which is a modular version offering 5 Gbps throughput. Commercial deployments began in early 2002 and announced customers for Laurel include Level(3), Korea Telecom (KT), ntl, Grande Communications and Dacom. The company is operationally deployed in 15 carrier networks worldwide with more trials underway.

Earlier this month, Laurel Networks added a "drop-in" IP Video Routing Solution that positions its ST200 broadband services router for large scale IPTV and VOD deployments. The rollout includes the introduction of two new line cards that significantly increase the Ethernet density of the company's ST200 broadband services router. These include an Ethernet-optimized network processing blade (NPB-E) that provides 10 Gbps wire-speed performance (not over-subscribed) and a new high-density 10-port Gigabit Ethernet physical interface (PHY) card, which brings port density of the ST200 to a maximum of 80 Gigabit Ethernet ports (line rate), allowing direct connectivity to large numbers of Ethernet-based DSLAMs and OLTs.

Since its founding in 1999, Laurel raised $118 million in funding from leading U.S. venture capital funds including NEA & Trinity Ventures, as well as from Ciena. Laurel has about 150 employees and is based in Pittsburgh. Upon closing, Laurel will become ECI's Data Networking Division.

ECI offers a complementary product set, especially its existing Hi-FOCuS solutions deployed in large-scale triple play networks in Europe and Asia.

"This acquisition is aligned with our strategic direction to enhance our ability to meet our customers' most demanding needs with innovative solutions as their next-generation multi-service networks evolve toward a single converged IP network," said Doron Inbar, President and CEO of ECI Telecom.

  • In December 2004, ECI Telecom and Chiaro Networks announced a strategic partnership under which ECI Telecom provided $6 million in financing to Chiaro Networks and also became the exclusive distributor of Chiaro's Enstara IP/MPLS platforms worldwide.

  • Laurel Networks is headed by Don Pyle, who joined the company in February 2004. Previously Pyle was vice president of North American Sales at Juniper Networks. Previously, at Cisco Systems, he managed one of the largest regions in the service provider division.

  • Founders of Laurel Networks include Atul Bansal, Stephen Vogelsang and Robert Warden.

  • In September 2003, Ciena entered into a reseller agreement to market, sell and support Laurel Networks' ST200 Service Edge Router. Laurel had previously announced a partnership with Marconi to resell its Service Edge Router to the U.S. federal government network operators and global service providers.

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