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E*Trade teams for investment in optical start-up

The online trading firm teams with one of Japan?s largest telecommunications companies to invest in optical networking start-up Mayan Networks.

Online trading firm E*Trade has teamed with one of Japan?s largest telecommunications companies to make an investment in optical networking start-up Mayan Networks.

E*Trade executives said the investment would help the trading firm eliminate congestion on their networks as more people log on to trade equities online.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Mayan provides network technology that allows hardware on the "edge" of a network--like a PC or other device--to communicate with a high-speed network based on fiber-optic technology. The company?s core product, the Mayan Unifier, is capable of shuttling many different types of data transmissions, such as Internet protocol (IP) or ATM, across a network, the company said in a statement.

The exact amount of funding wasn't disclosed.

"Our business is expanding rapidly," E*Trade chief corporate development and strategic investment officer Tom Bevilacqua said in a statement. "Products like the Mayan Unifier have the potential to reduce traffic bottlenecks at the access point of our network and enable our users to make quicker investment decisions."

E*Trade, which provides a number of online financial services, has suffered a number of network problems in the past that have prevented traders from accessing accounts or completing trades.

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone (NTT), Japan?s largest telecommunications firm, made its investment in Mayan through its subsidiary NTT Leasing. The Japanese company provides a host of corporate network services in the traditional and Internet telephony market.