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Movaz Moves Into Optical Transport Gear

When cable operators add such new services such as cable modems or Internet-protocol based voice services to the mix, new transport equipment is typically deployed alongside existing plant.

And as cable systems grow more complex, operators reach a point at which they're using a hodgepodge of transport schemes to carry separate video, voice and data services.

Movaz Networks, a relatively new company in the optical-transport space, is pitching a solution for increasingly complex networks that would supersede existing synchronous optical network (SONET) setups.

At the heart of the company's technology is its RayStar line of equipment, starting with a RayStar high-density optical switch, its RayExpress optical hub box, Ray Extender line amplifiers and Ray Edge customer-premise gear.

Handles legacies

"MSOs can put legacy outputs from various transport devices onto this new, unified optical infrastructure," including existing SONET, Internet-protocol and digital-video transport, said Movaz vice president of sales Mike Ferguson.

At present, Movaz is talking with MSOs about unifying data traffic for large metropolitan or regional systems onto a common architecture, which would be more cost-effective and efficient for the MSO, Ferguson said.

Movaz believes some MSOs are already ready to make the leap past short-term new-services solutions by placing at least IP traffic — and eventually video traffic — on the same platform, he said.

That vision spawned Movaz three years ago. The company shipped $20 million in product to the domestic and international, telco, cable and government market in 2002, Ferguson said, and is ahead of its projected $60 million in sales for 2003.

Client list

Ferguson said Movaz outsources the manufacturing of its equipment to Flextronics in order to concentrate on research and development, customer-service and engineering for its clients, which include the America Online unit of AOL Time Warner Inc., WorldCom Inc. and NTT Corp., the Japanese-based telecommunications provider.

Movaz believes MSOs will be in the market for such equipment over the next few years to rationalize the multiple platforms that are in place today, especially if cable operators can determine how to migrate digital video to an IP-transport setup.