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JDS to detail "important developments"

The optical networking giant has scheduled a press conference call Tuesday to disclose "important developments," according to a statement.

    JDS Uniphase, a giant of the optical networking industry, has scheduled a press conference call Tuesday to disclose "important developments," according to a statement.

    The announced JDS Uniphase press conference, scheduled for 5 a.m. PDT, dovetails with the release of quarterly earnings from Murray Hill, N.J.-based Lucent Technologies before Wall Street opens for trading Tuesday. That combination raises the possibility that the two have struck a deal for Lucent's Optical Fiber Solutions business, a division of the company that has been on the block for some time.

    A Lucent spokeswoman declined to comment on the possibility of a sale, noting that the company continues to explore "strategic alternatives" for its Optical Fiber Solutions business. A JDS representative could not immediately be reached for comment on the pending conference call.

    JDS's news could also be related to its just-completed quarter. JDS is scheduled to report earnings Thursday.

    The duo have been linked ever since Lucent made it clear it would like to sell its fiber-optic cabling business as part of its efforts to raise cash and re-focus its business. JDS, along with other suitors such as French networking giant Alcatel, were rumored to be interested in Lucent's Optical Fiber Solutions business.

    A deal could fetch several billion dollars to add to Lucent's coffers at a time when the fiscal viability of the company remains in question on Wall Street.

    Lucent's Optical Fiber Solutions unit makes the actual fibers used to transmit voice and data across a network. The division employs about 6,300 people.

    Lucent is attempting to focus on its equipment business for telecommunications operators. San Jose, Calif.-based JDS would like to cut a wider swath across the optical component industry and has used acquisitions to accomplish that goal. It recently closed its $13.5 billion deal for optical component maker SDL.