Newbridge May See Uptick

An announcement that a U.S. firm would purchase US$200 million in Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) provisioning equipment from Newbridge Networks Inc. may signal a financial uptick for the Ontario-based network equipment provider.

Analysts dinged Newbridge two months ago when it turned in lower-than-expected quarterly results. Newbridge's then-president, Alan Lutz, has since resigned.

But things may be looking up for Newbridge.

"This is probably the first significant deal in the DSL space for Newbridge, which could be a promising move for the company going forward," said James Slaby, a senior analyst at Giga Information Group Inc. in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Newbridge said it would release third-quarter earnings results Feb. 22.

The $200 million sale was to DSL provider New Edge Networks in Vancouver, Washington. It purchased the Newbridge 350 Integrated Versatile Services Node platform, a single box installed at a telecommunications company's central office, to supply DSL services in a given market.

The equipment will facilitate New Edge's buildout of DSL in 1,500 sites across the U.S., according to the company's chief technology officer, Steve Hensley.

Hensley said his company's business plan drove the decision to use Newbridge equipment. "We wanted to do edge-to-edge provisioning on a single network platform," Hensley said. "We also needed to automate so we could connect to multiple devices."

He said New Edge looked at several vendors, but decided Newbridge offered the best single-box product after checking out the space where it would be installing the equipment and visiting the Newbridge laboratories.

"The 350 can do all kinds of things in a very dense platform," Hensley said.

Competitive platforms became too unwieldy when frame relay and other capabilities were added, he noted.

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