The data-dedicated optical network that CROSSWAVE COMMUNICATIONS INC. is extending nationwide has given another lift to CIENA CORP.'s Japanese revenues (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 354, March 1999, p. 30). The Lithicum, Maryland manufacturer of DWDM equipment is shipping its advanced MultiWave CoreStream optical transport system to the joint venture among INTERNET INITIATIVE JAPAN INC., SONY CORP. and TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. through exclusive distributor NISSHO ELECTRONICS CORP. The CoreStream system, which consists of optical terminals, amplifiers and add/drop multiplexers, can scale to 2 terabits per second of capacity over a single fiber. It modular DWDM architecture enables carriers like Crosswave to expand capacity incrementally through any combination of OC-12 (622 Mbps), OC-48 (2.5 Gbps) or OC-192 (10 Gbps) optical interfaces. The latest Crosswave order reportedly is worth some $45.9 million. The build-out of the company's optical network is expected shortly.
ARRAY TELECOM CORP., a Herndon, Virginia supplier of carrier-class and enterprise IP telephony gateway products, has a $2 million-plus contract for its Array Series 3000 VoIP gateway system from TVS, INC., a provider of VoIP service through its nationwide IP-based network. The order covers 100 systems, which the data communications firm expects to deploy by yearend. TVS said that the excellent voice quality and the flexibility of the Array Series 3000 sold it on the equipment. Array Telecom is a COMDIAL CORP. subsidiary.
Competitor NETSPEAK CORP. has a contract to supply equipment to TELEMATRIX CORP., described as Japan's largest independent Internet telephony carrier. Included in the order are the Boca Raton, Florida firm's iTEL platform-based Gatekeeper and Route Server, which TeleMatrix will employ to better manage its network and to support such additional value-added applications as voice-enabled e- commerce. The scalable Gatekeeper handles more than 100 calls per second. The Route Server manages network resources and determines route priorities. TeleMatrix, which launched its IP telephony network in June 1997, operates more than 40 points of presence within Japan. Its primary customers are small and midsize businesses and consumers.
The major xDSL field trial conducted in Ina, Nagano prefecture for more than two years in the late 1990s has resulted in an order for participant PARADYNE NETWORKS INC. The Tampa, Florida manufacturer's Hotwire MVL (multiple virtual lines) system was selected by INFOVALLEY CO., LTD., an ISP owned by FUJITSU NAGANO ENGINEERING CO., LTD., for use in its new DSL high-speed Internet access business. DSL technology transforms existing copper telephone lines into high-speed digital networks. Paradyne's Hotwire MVL system, for instance, can transmit information at speeds of up to 768 kilobits per second. That makes it well-suited for such services as Internet access in homes and small offices.
In their second deal, C-COR.NET has won a contract to supply its FlexNet 900 Series radio-frequency trunks and bridges along with Navicor line extenders to TITUS COMMUNICATIONS CORP. Japan's number-two cable television operator will use this equipment, which works in the 862-MHz bandwidth and is adapted to the 55/70 frequency split required for Japan, to support the delivery of telephony and video services as well as Internet access over its cable networks. The State College, Pennsylvania manufacturer's hardware will be installed during 2000 in three Titus projects, two of which are in the Tokyo suburbs with the other located in Sapporo. Kobe's DX ANTENNA CO., LTD. is C-COR.net's distributor.
Server appliance designer COBALT NETWORKS, INC. has delivered to NTT MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, INC. Multimedia Mobile Qube devices for the company's small and midsize business subscribers. The MM Qube, based on the Mountain View, California company's open- standards platform (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 364, January 2000, p. 31), will provide core Web services and wireless Internet access to these customers. They also will be able to access their e-mail remotely via cell phones and a variety of notebook PCs and PDA devices.
In an arrangement that should give a major boost to AT&T CORP.'s network outsourcing and secure managed Internet access businesses for multinationals, NTT COMMUNICATIONS CORP. agreed to acquire a 15 percent interest in AT&T Global Network Services-Japan for $50 million. The long-distance and international communications unit of NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP., which will have two seats on AGNS-Japan's board of directors, has the right to increase this stake. More important than the equity relationship, though, the tie-up should help AGNS-Japan sell its networking professional services to NTT Communications' major corporate customers. In fact, the Japanese carrier will allow AGNS- Japan to use the NTT Com logo with its own logo. Equally critical, the AT&T affiliate will be able to tap NTT Communications' expertise in developing or enhancing solutions services for multinationals that want to free themselves of the responsibility for managing their increasingly complex corporate networks. The deal between AGNS-Japan and NTT Communications followed a spring 1999 memorandum of understanding under which AT&T and NTT agreed to collaborate on corporate network solutions (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 356, May 1999, p. 30).
In April, WINK COMMUNICATIONS, INC., the promoter of a system for delivering low-cost e-com-merce via TV sets, will acquire an undisclosed minority stake in MEDIASERVE CORP. The Tokyo company was formed in 1996 by MITSUI & CO., LTD. and TOSHIBA CORP. to process responses and create content for the Wink-based analog terrestrial interactive TV services that began in October of that year. The pending investment by the Alameda, California company reflects MediaServe's near-term expansion into digital response processing and digital data broadcasting via a digital high-definition TV broadcasting satellite to be launched later this year. Toshiba also will put more money into the company to fund the transition. A number of other big-name Japanese corporations are investors as well in MediaServe.
Investment bankers GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO. and MORGAN STANLEY DEAN WITTER & CO. will invest in start-up EACCESS LTD., which plans to offer high-speed, low-cost Internet access to small companies and consumers as soon as this fall using DSL technology. In the near term, eAccess expects to issue $4.1 million worth of new shares. The two Wall Street firms will buy a significant portion of the total, with Japanese venture-capital companies acquiring the rest. eAccess still has not decided all the operational details of its business, such as whether to build its own network or to use existing infrastructure.
Industry sources report that INTEL CORP. was one of the companies to acquire a stake in CYBIRD CO., LTD. through a third-party share allocation. The Tokyo-based start-up develops content for cell phones and PHS (personal handyphone system) handsets that can access the Internet. It currently has contracts with NTT MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, INC. and other major Japanese mobile communications services providers. Cybird will use the money raised, including the $917,400 thought to have been invested by Intel, to produce content for the third generation of cell phones that is set to debut in Japan in the spring of 2001. These devices will be capable of broadband Internet connections.
For some time, INTEL CORP. has seen cellular and other wireless communications products as a major growth market for its flash memories, chipsets, software and other technologies. The work it has been doing with Japanese manufacturers of these products now has been formalized in the second Intel Wireless Competence Center. Located in Tsukuba, Ibaraki prefecture, the center's job is to promote the development of wireless Internet access technologies, whether content or services, through tie-ups with local companies. Intel already has named its first four partners: CYBIRD CO., LTD., software developer JUSTSYSTEM CORP., ACCESS CO., LTD., also a software developer, and San Diego, California's PACKETVIDEO CORP., a supplier of a software-based broadband testing solution for 3G wireless networks (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 365, January 2000, p. 30). The first Intel Wireless Competence Center was established late last year in Stockholm, Sweden.
STARNET, which bills itself as the largest V.90 wholesale ISP in North America with more than 800 points of presence, has extended its MegaPOP network to Tokyo. The first such company to reach Japan, Palatine, Illinois-based StarNet plans to extend its services to Osaka and Nagoya in the coming months. That will give its ISP customers even greater marketing opportunities.
@NETWORK INC., a San Jose, California company set up last year by Japanese, American and Taiwanese investors, is offering to be the virtual subsidiary in Asia of U.S.-based e-commerce vendors. It has announced plans to develop a data and voice network, consisting of data centers in major Asian metropolitan areas, that is linked to the United States through a transpacific IP backbone. A hub in Japan will be at the center of this infrastructure, which will enable @Network to host, colocate and manage e- commerce Web content from American suppliers in one unified Asian network. It also will offer a variety of value-added services, such as Web content localization, consulting and marketing. At present, @Network is developing data centers in Tokyo and Osaka; five others are planned for Japan.
The stampede by American and domestic companies to build massive data centers in Japan to offer secure Web-hosting or colocation services to companies that have decided to completely or partially outsource management of the infrastructure that supports their Internet operations is behind the pending formation of a company to sell servers, networking equipment and software to these facilities. Spearheading the venture is the powerful trio of SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC., CISCO SYSTEMS, INC. and ORACLE CORP. Other companies, including NTT DATA CORP. and TOKYO ELECTRIC POWER CO., INC., are expected to participate in the Internet Data Center Initiative venture. It will provide consulting services and technical support to data center operators in addition to marketing hardware and software.
Also targeting this market is EXTREME NETWORKS, INC. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 356, May 1999, p. 32). The Santa Clara, California manufacturer's subsidiary has introduced two new BlackDiamond Layer 3 chassis systems aimed specifically at the demanding requirements of data centers. The BlackDiamond 6816 is claimed to be the industry's first product to scale routing and switching performance to more than 192 million packets per second. It also is said to deliver a market-leading port density of up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1,536 10/100BASE-TX ports in a single chassis. The capabilities of the BlackDiamond 6808 are only slightly less impressive. It can move more than 96 million pps and can accommodate up to 96 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 384 10/100BASE-TX ports, with all switching and routing at wire speed. These switches also are the first to support 10-Gbps Ethernet connectivity.
In a worldwide release, INTEL CORP. unveiled a family of communications products and services designed to improve e-commerce transactions through faster on-line connections, security authentication and server response time. They will be marketed under the Intel NetStructure brand name. Among the products that Intel's subsidiary is introducing is the Intel NetStructure 7180 e-Commerce Director. Priced at $68,800, it is described as the first device of its kind to combine security acceleration and application- aware traffic management to up the speed of user authentication transactions by as much as 150 times. For its part, the Intel NetStructure 7110 e-Commerce Accelerator, which lists for $22,900, boosts the speed of e-commerce traffic by offloading the processing power needed by the server for secure Internet transactions.
PACKETEER, INC. the Campbell, California supplier of the three-model PacketShaper line of products that helps ISPs and other operators of wide area networks to use bandwidth more efficiently by allocating it according to the needs of the applications running and the provider's objectives has tied up with CHORI JOHO SYSTEM CO., LTD. The Osaka developer of network software will integrate Packeteer's products into its network systems to strengthen its Internet application infrastructure capabilities. That done, Chori Joho will move into the business of supplying network solutions to the new breed of application service providers.
In the latest wrinkle of its strategy for ensuring that it is the dominant supplier of networking equipment in Japan as well as in the world, CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.'s subsidiary tied up with well-connected JAPAN RESEARCH INSTITUTE, LTD. The new collaborators will design and develop solutions for companies interested in moving their business to the Internet, whether that activity be e-commerce, inventory control or otherwise. Cisco can draw on JRI's business management expertise along with its corporate insider status, while the Japanese company will be able to tap its partner's vast networking technology.
Communications adapters made by DIGI INTERNATIONAL INC. have been sold by SUMISHO DATACOM INC. for the last seven years. However, the rapid growth of ISPs, especially small and midsize ones, has opened a major new market for the Minneapolis firm's products because Internet POP servers incorporating remote access server adapters cost significantly less per port than router-based solutions. Attempting to exploit this fact, Sumisho Datacom and INTERNET PRO CORP., a Tokyo communications consultant, have tied up to build Pentium-based PC servers equipped with Digi DataFire RAS 24/48 remote access adapters and running the RED HAT, INC. version of Linux. Their products are scalable from 24 to 384 ports in a single server. Sumisho Datacom and Internet Pro, which provides the hardware and system integration services to configure the POPs as well as marketing and sales support, training and maintenance, already have built 78 servers that are operating in a high-traffic, 24 x 7 x 365 application.
New York's EXALINK, a supplier of platforms for the delivery of Internet-based services to all types of wireless devices, named NISSHO IWAI INFOCOM SYSTEMS CO., LTD. as its distributor. The company's turnkey eXa.Flow WAP (wireless application protocol) router is based on proprietary technology that supports WAP and other IP-based protocols. Exalink notes, however, that unlike a WAP proxy, protocol conversion is performed on the network layer with eXa.Flow. According to it, that means improved performance and quality of service as well as security policies that can be enforced in real time. For wireless operators, these claims should come down to the ability to provide advanced information and data services to their subscribers fairly simply.
One of the pioneers in wireless data communications services and technologies, GEOWORKS CORP., announced that TOSHIBA CORP. was the first company to license its flexible user interface technology. The Alameda, California firm's know-how is one key to making the recent wireless application protocol the global standard for mobile communications. Toshiba's license allows it to use Geowork's technology in a series of handsets.
QUALCOMM INC., the chief promoter of the CDMA digital cellular standard, and MATSUSHITA ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS CO., LTD. have codeveloped a CDMA module that works with both the AMPS (advanced mobile phone service) analog standard found in the United States and the PCS digital format. Modules that enable CDMA-based cell phones to pick up AMPS signals already exist, but the CRM3100 is the first product that is compatible with all three standards. Moreover, the partners say, the new module cuts power consumption by 20 percent, which helps to roughly double handset standby time. Matsushita Electronic Components will begin sampling the CRS3100, which will cost around $460, in April.
In a pairing of heavyweights, the subsidiary of LUCENT TECHNOLOGIES INC. and IBM JAPAN LTD. have launched Start Now for Customer Service, an integrated solution for call centers that have 12 to 25 operators. The service marries IBM Japan's Start Now customer relationship management software with Lucent's computer-telephony integration expertise and its Definity ProLogix PBX system, which is designed for small and midsize installations. The partners are touting the ability of the hardware to efficiently distribute calls coming in from customers. They also note that the Definity ProLogix system is easily expandable, allowing it to meet the requirements of growing call centers.
The subsidiary of facilities-based international carrier PACIFIC GATEWAY EXCHANGE, INC., which received a Type I operating license at the end of 1998, is marketing a low-cost international calling plan to retail customers, primarily small and midsize businesses and individuals. Subscribers to PGE Call can direct-dial 240 countries. The anytime charge for a three-minute call to the United States is 61 cents, or about 60 percent below KDD CORP.'s daytime rate. However, customers are subject to a minimum monthly charge of $9.20. PGE's low fees are based on the premise that it can attract a large volume of customers to PGE Call, which uses the Burlingame, California company's private line in Japan to connect with the publicly switched network there and in the United States, where all calls go regardless of final destination. In time, PGE Call is expected to produce annual revenues of $2.8 million. PGE, which has its own switch in Japan, got its local start by offering global high-bandwidth data and Internet services to carrier customers.
SEIKO EPSON CORP. has joined HITACHI CA-BLE, LTD. as a distributor of the ViewStation line of group videoconferencing systems from POLYCOM, INC., the number-one supplier of these collaborative products (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 364, January 2000, p. 31). Seiko Epson will promote the ViewStation equipment, for which a Japanese graphical user interface recently was introduced, with its own family of LCD-based projectors. San Jose, California-headquar-tered Polycom also will help Seiko Epson advance its New Meeting System concept. This idea encompasses media-rich, multisite collaboration over the Internet or through intranets by integrating IP-based videoconferencing units like the ViewStation with meeting-en-hancing peripherals as input devices and data projectors as output devices.
Just 15 months after IRIDIUM INC.'s global satellite phone and paging service was launched, DDI CORP., the majority (50.5 percent) owner of NIPPON IRIDIUM CORP., the operator of the Japanese part of the network, decided to pull the plug on its troubled joint venture with KYOCERA CORP. (10 percent) and other local investors. Although DDI and Kyocera had indicated after MOTOROLA INC.-spearheaded Iridium filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last August that they were willing to pump money into the Washington, D.C.-based company, they later changed their minds about Iridium's ultimate viability in light of the technical changes that have swept the wireless communications industry since the company was launched in 1991. That logically led to the conclusion that Nippon Iridium, which had only 4,300 subscribers, had no future. Also shaping DDI's decision to liquidate Nippon Iridium was the reality that it could not afford to go any deeper into debt on the Iridium project than its $229.4 million exposure given the fact that the company, Japan's number-three communications carrier, is scheduled to merge in October of this year with KDD CORP. and wireless services provider IDO CORP.
SPACE IMAGING, INC. of Thornton, Colorado added SHIKOKU INFORMATION AND TELECOMMUNICATION NETWORK CO., INC. as a distributor of the extremely high-resolution images of the earth captured by its Ikonos satellite. The Kagawa prefecture-based company will launch its marketing activities in June, targeting providers of ITS (intelligent transportation system) and GIS (geographical information system) applications, among others. MITSUBISHI CORP., which was instrumental in the formation of Space Imaging's subsidiary, also has rights to sell the detailed imagery from the Ikonos satellite.
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