With the recent acquisition of Nortel’s optical networking and carrier Ethernet assets under its belt, Ciena has set its sights on the National Broadband Network (NBN) as a launch pad for its Australian and New Zealand operations.
Following its acquisition of the Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) portion of the floundering Nortel in March this year for $US775 million, the US-based network solutions company is planning to make use of Nortel offices and staff to secure contracts relating to the Federal Government's proposed fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network.
Labelling itself the "dark horse" in an increasingly competitive telecommunications field, Ciena remains silent on what contracts it is looking to secure, or how it plans to go about it. However, the company has said it hopes to leverage recent trials of its 40 gigabits per second (Gbps) and 100Gbps optical technologies on networks including Telstra and Victorian research institution VERNet. It also counts Optus, AAPT and Uecomm among its existing customers.
The company is in the process of ‘selectively’ hiring staff as it ramps up its launch locally.
However, senior vice president of global field operations, Mike Aquino, couldn't provide a contingency plan should the NBN fail to eventuate.
“If the NBN doesn’t get built... we would support any broadband initiative… there is a constant amount of broadband growth,” Aquino said.
According to Aquino, the increasing use of new devices like smartphones and tablet PCs will continue to drive a constant demand for higher bandwidth, a demand he claims Ciena will provide.
Construction of the mainland trial sites for the NBN is set to begin next month for which wholesaler NBN Co will deliver proposed services of at least 100 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream to a total of 12,316 households in the five trial sites on the Australian mainland. . These comprise Brunswick in Melbourne, Townsville in Queensland, Willunga in South Australia, and two sites in NSW: Armidale and premises in the neighbouring Minnamurra and Kiama areas.