Cisco kills the Wavelength Router

Cisco Systems Inc. has discontinued its ONS 15900 Wavelength Router platform for the core of service provider networks, due to slow demand.

This product, which was designed to allow service providers to build switched optical mesh networks, was obtained through Cisco's acquisition of Monterey Networks in 1999. Cisco paid $500 million for Monterey.

"The market has really been slow to take off," says Carl Russo, group vice president of Cisco's Optical Networking unit. "Right now, (service providers') biggest concern is not adding capacity or functionality to the core networks as much as it is getting customers onto the existing network. That has a downward effect on the space the 15900 plays in, while at the same time having an upward effect on the metropolitan space."

Russo was referring to the success Cisco is realizing with the ONS 15454 and 15327 metro optical platforms.

Russo would not say how many customers Cisco had for the 15900 or what Cisco might do next to re-enter the market if demand picks up. But he intimated that Cisco doesn't expect demand to emerge anytime soon.

"At a core mesh optical switching layer, we're in essence going to stand down and let this market develop a little bit more," he said. "Mesh is where they ultimately want to go; they're just slowing down their deployments in getting there."

Russo added that Cisco remains committed to its core dense wave division multiplexing transport system, the ONS 15800, which came from the Pirelli acquisition in late 1999.

As for the 15900 customers Cisco has, the company is working with each one individually to determine where to go from here. He would not say if Cisco was referring them to alternate suppliers.

"We will make sure that our customers are whole," Russo said.

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