Sycamore adds carrier-class optical access offering

Tejas Networks India Pvt Ltd., an optical product development startup in Bangalore, India, is set to round out US-based Sycamore Networks Inc.'s product line with carrier-class optical access products.

Sycamore has invested in Tejas, whose new TJ 100 family is designed to complement Sycamore's optical product line. Sycamore offers products for the edge, metro, regional, long-haul, and ultra long-haul segments of the optical network, but it does not have a product line for the access networks that deliver services to customers, according to Sanjay Nayak, chief executive officer and co-founder of Tejas.

The product development plans of Tejas are currently aligned towards filling up the gaps, and identifying new opportunities around Sycamore's product line. "The reason why we don't have too many product companies in India is that the markets aren't here, and unless you talk to customers, you may have a large number of product ideas but you don't know which will work," said Nayak. "We get the market contacts from Sycamore in the parts of the world that they are."

The products designed by Tejas will be contract-manufactured in Asia. Though Sycamore will offer the Tejas products, it has not been decided yet whether Tejas will OEM (original equipment manufacture) the product to Sycamore, sell directly into Sycamore accounts, or work out a licensing and royalty deal with Sycamore, according to Nayak.

Besides doing product development, Tejas also works with Sycamore in various parts of the world to offer network design services. In India, Tejas is a distribution partner for Sycamore, offering network planning and design, network management services, and support. Tejas' first win for its TJ 100 product came from a Sycamore customer in India, Tata Power Company Ltd. in Mumbai, which is setting up an optical metro network in Mumbai, around Sycamore's SN 8000 Metro Core intelligent optical transport system, and the TJ 100 optical access products.

The TJ 100 access network products integrate both transport and switching functions in a compact, power-efficient module, and are designed to be deployed as customers' premises equipment (CPE) as well as at the carriers' point-of-presence, according to Kumar Sivarajan, chief technology officer of Tejas. They support services to customers at speeds ranging from 2M-bps (megabits per second) to 622M-bps.

The initial version of the TJ 100 -- due out next month after Tejas confirms its deal with contract manufacturers -- will support interfaces to E1 and E3 and STM-1(Synchronous Transport Module Level 1) access speeds, with card-level upgrades to support Ethernet and STM-4 to be available later this year. It also supports auto-discovery of network topology features that enable the devices to recognize other elements on the network. Pricing will be available when the product actually is being shipped.

"The intelligence in the product is a combination of the switching, and the algorithms for auto-discovery of network topology and routing of connections," added Sivarajan. The TJ 100 family of products is designed to be managed through the Sycamore Silvx network management system that manages all the company's equipment. In case of small networks built with only the Tejas products, HP OpenView from Hewlett-Packard can also be used.

While most US companies have set up wholly owned subsidiaries in India for software and product development, Sycamore has an investment relationship with Tejas, which began operations in July last year.

"From concept to implementation, the TJ 100 was developed by us," said Nayak about the model. "The advantage you get when you set up a startup company is that you can hire talented staff who are attracted by the opportunity to do a product on their own. This is different from a wholly owned development subsidiary where the parent company calls the shots, and there is rarely full product ownership."

Tejas Networks in Bangalore can be reached at +91-80-238 4712 and

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