Ciena Picks Up PhyFlex

9/21/2007 8:00 PM Eastern

Telecommunications-equipment vendor Ciena last week acquired PhyFlex Networks' Ethernet-over-coaxial-cable core technology and associated intellectual property for an undisclosed sum.

As a result of the deal, PhyFlex will wind down its operations effective immediately, according to the company. PhyFlex, based in Westford, Mass., had about 40 employees.

In a statement, PhyFlex CEO Michael Collette said: “While the timing of the market wasn't right for PhyFlex, the direction of the industry today points to success for carrier Ethernet access network solutions in the years ahead. We believe that Ciena's experience and success with carrier-grade optical Ethernet transport and next-generation network solutions makes it a natural fit for maximizing the switched Ethernet and other technologies we've developed.”

Ciena acquired the core technology developed by PhyFlex and related intellectual property, including patents covering out-of-band network architecture and switched Ethernet-over-hybrid-fiber-coax networks.

PhyFlex's products included the FTTxSwitch, a “hardened” device that offered Ethernet-over-coax, fiber and copper last-mile transport technologies. The switch, certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum as a carrier-class product, had been in various stages of deployment with eight operators around the world, including Cablevision Systems in the United States, according to PhyFlex.

Ciena director of public relations Nicole Anderson said PhyFlex's technologies primarily will be applied to products in Ciena's access portfolio, including solutions for wireless backhaul. She added that Ciena is not acquiring any PhyFlex employees as part of the deal but said it is possible that some may be hired separately.

In April, PhyFlex changed its name from Narad Networks, which was supposed to underscore its efforts to make its technology more “phy-agnostic” — that is, to support multiple physical-transport layer technologies. At the time, Collette explained that Narad had been associated with fiber-to-the-node solutions.

Narad, founded in 2000, had received more than $100 million in funding from investors that included Argo Global Capital, Polaris Venture Partners, Sofinnova Ventures and The Vertical Group.

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