Monday, January 21, 2008

Ciena to Acquire World Wide Packets, AT&T Selects Platform

Ciena agreed to acquire privately-held World Wide Packets, a supplier of Carrier Ethernet-based solutions,
for approximately $200 million in cash and 3.4 million shares of Ciena common stock. In addition, Ciena will assume up to $15 million in outstanding World Wide Packets debt. Based on the closing price of Ciena's stock on Friday January 18, 2008, of $26.52, the aggregate value of the shares to be issued by Ciena is approximately $90 million.

Worldwide Packets had revenues of approximately $30 million last year.

Ciena also announced today it has been awarded a multi-year contract with AT&T to supply the global carrier with WWP platforms. Financial terms of this contract were not disclosed, but Ciena described the contract as a multiyear deal to supply "flexible, highly-scalable Carrier Ethernet service delivery platforms."

World Wide Packets designs products for the access and aggregation tiers of the network. Its portfolio includes:

  • Service Aggregation Switches (SAS), Service Concentration Switches (SCS) and Service Delivery Switches (SDS);

  • A common operating system -- LightningEdge Operating System (LE-OS);

  • A suite of network management tools for integrated service activation -- Ethernet Services Manager (ESM).

World Wide Packets has shipped more than 70,000 units to 100+ customers in 25 countries. Customers include ntl:Telewest, KPN and several top-tier Multiple System Operators (MSOs) in North America. .

"As part of our strategy to leverage Ethernet as the vehicle for network convergence to optimize the cost and efficiency of network resources, the addition of World Wide Packets' technology expands our ability to address the access and aggregation tiers of the network with simplified IP/Ethernet service architectures," said Gary Smith, president and CEO of Ciena.

"Since the inception of the company, it has been the goal of World Wide Packets to define and provide the next-generation of Carrier Ethernet solutions, and today's news is conclusive validation of our approach," said Matthew Frey, president and COO of World Wide Packets.

Following completion of this transaction, World Wide Packets will continue to operate from its Spokane Valley, Wash. and San Jose, Calif. locations.

Morgan Stanley served as financial advisor to Ciena on this transaction. Goldman Sachs served as financial advisor to World Wide Packets.http://www.ciena.com
  • In 2007, World Wide Packets introduced its LightningEdge 3300 (LE-3300) Service Aggregation Switch for Carrier Ethernet services, featuring capabilities such as Hierarchical Quality of Service (H-QoS), a fully programmable distributed switching architecture, and a redundant hardware design with service cards ranging from 10 Gigabit Ethernet to high-density Gigabit Ethernet.

    The LE-3300 is designed for deployment at first and second tier aggregation points where Carrier Ethernet service transport and handoff to the core network is required.

    The LE-3300 uses hierarchical ingress metering and egress shaping with rich classification, enabling it to deliver any mix of service types simultaneously on any port. The switch is also designed to facilitate bridging of multiple protocols and standards such as MPLS, Provider Backbone Transport, Provider Backbone Bridging and Provider Bridging. Worldwide Packets also provides full physical redundancy with separate management, control and data planes.

  • In December 2007, Ciena announced that BT had selected its CN 3000 Ethernet Access Series as one of its preferred Network Termination Equipment (NTE) platforms for its 21st Century Network (21CN). Ciena is supplying the CN 3000 Series through an OEM agreement with ANDA Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    The CN 3000 Series encompasses a range of copper and fiber-based NTE platforms and complementary NTE aggregators fully compliant with Metro Ethernet Forum specifications. It includes both carrier-to-carrier network demarcation devices as well as customer-located Ethernet access devices, designed specifically to allow service providers to extend homogeneous coverage of managed Ethernet services..

    The CN 3000 also features Ethernet Operations, Administration and Maintenance (OAM) functionality that is integrated with Ciena's ON-Center Network and Services Management Suite. These capabilities enable service management, Quality of Service (QoS) guarantees and end-to-end SLA verification, while ensuring operational savings, as Ethernet services can be remotely provisioned and monitored without site visits. Additionally, the flexibility of the CN 3000 Series means that devices can be upgraded remotely using software..

    The agreement extends BT's partnership with Ciena, which already supplies optical Ethernet transport and switching solutions for the 21CN transmission domain, by enabling BT to provide Ethernet access in the last mile to support the roll-out of new 21CN services and applications.


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