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Sycamore goes metro with new optical technology

The optical networking equipment maker introduces the first products from the former Sirocco Systems and announces a contract with European telecommunications operator LDCOM Networks.

Sycamore Networks, an optical networking equipment maker, introduced the first products from the former Sirocco Systems on Thursday and announced a contract with European telecommunications operator LDCOM Networks.

Sycamore, which makes optical switching gear for communications carriers, completed its $2.9 billion acquisition of Sirocco in early September, allowing it to offer a set of technology for the booming metropolitan networking market.

The Chelmsford, Mass.-based company introduced two Sirocco-designed products called the SN 3000 and SN 4000--formerly known as Typhoon and Tornado--aimed at switching data traffic on local metro networks and linking those smaller networks with larger regional ones. They will ship this quarter.

Sycamore said it also secured a multimillion-dollar, multiyear contract commitment from LDCOM Networks for its new metro switches. The deal marks the first customer for Sycamore's new metropolitan area networking gear.

"This opens up a $17 billion market for us. Historically we were not in that (niche), and this adds an addressable market for us to target," said Kevin Jyo Oye, vice president of business development for Sycamore. "The customer validates our vision that carriers want end-to-end optical networks that reach from the edge to the backbone."

Metropolitan area networks are rapidly being built by companies such as Metromedia Fiber Network, Level 3 Communications and the former Nextlink, now XO Communications, among others. These high-speed local networks connect business customers' buildings with nationwide long-distance networks.

Competitors in the market include ONI Systems, Lucent Tecnologies and Nortel Networks, among others.