Antec Celebrates 10 Years of Optics


Denver -- Antec Network Technologies Corp. is hosting a
lightwave birthday party this week, celebrating 10 years of its entry into optical
technologies and using the fete as a way to describe its metamorphosis from distributor to

Antec, now headquartered in Atlanta, has come a long way
since its heady days as the largest equipment distributor, based in the Chicago area. It
started with Antec's decision to manufacture its "Laser Link" optical product
line, which triggered a series of moves -- including transitioning to a publicly traded
company -- and culminated in splitting off its TeleWire distribution group.

The first Antec Laser Link was installed Time Warner
Cable's Orlando, Fla., system, as a backup to a microwave transmission.

Now, Antec is going into this week's Western Show in
Anaheim, Calif., with an enhanced version of the Laser Link series, executives said during
a briefing here last week.

Among the enhancements: Link performance form between 1 dB
and 15 dB, in a selectable fashion to "take the guesswork" out of selecting an
optical transmitter, said Emmanuel Vella, vice president of product management for Antec.

"We take the variables of transmission distance,
architecture, fiber used and desired performance, and match it to the appropriate Laser
Link," Vella said.

On the powering side of the network, and as an important
adjunct to discussions of cable telephony that will likely pepper the Western Show floor,
Antec also plans to debut its "local power supply unit," or LPSU, in Anaheim,
executives said. The unit was designed for operators currently offering circuit-switched
telephony to customers with unpredictable penetration rates, officials said.

The LPSU provides primary powering for Arris Interactive
Corp.'s 2-line and 4-line telephony voice ports, and send battery diagnostic information
to the voice ports for transport to a centralized location.

Antec will also unveil a new hub site block converter,
helpful for upstream communications because it combines up to 18 return bands into one
transmitter. Specifically, Antec executives said, the block converter can be added into
networks that lack the fiber capacity to carry signals upstream to the headend. Similar to
dense wave division multiplexing (DWDM) techniques, the method is "another way to
create a more transparent hub site," Vella said.