Aurora Networks to buy Harmonic’s cable access business

2013-03-02 09:56:09

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CommScope demos technical feasibility of Category 8 copper cabling
You didn’t think copper cabling vendors would give up after 10 Gbps, did you? CommScope Inc. says it has successfully demonstrated the technical feasibility of Category 8 copper cabling for enterprise networks – which is an important first step towards creating a viable 40GBase-T system for data center applications.CommScope verified a proof-of-concept approach for a viable 40 Gigabit Ethernet channel by using prototype Category 8 RJ-45 connectors and copper twisted-pair cables. All components were designed by engineers in CommScope labs.The demonstration took place at the recent International Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.3 NGBase-T study group meeting in Phoenix, AZ. A technical contribution to the study group titled, “Category 8 Structured Cabling Channel Demonstration by CommScope,” described the feasibility of the concept.“This contribution highlights CommScope’s commitment and continued leadership to bring next-generation copper cabling and connectivity solutions to market,” said Richard Mei, director of transmission solutions, CommScope. “We believe this demonstrated solution shows the real market potential for customers to eventually take advantage of 40G transmission rates over copper twisted-pair based media with cable and connector types they are familiar with today.”The two aspects outlined by this proof-of-concept include commonly used RJ-45 connectors and bandwidth capability of proposed Category 8 cabling. The proof-of-concept demonstrates that data center operators will be able to extend the use of copper as a means of communication technology for 40G, CommScope asserts.
TE Connectivity presents 'Rapid' portfolio for faster fiber deployment
TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) will present its new Rapid fiber portfolio at the FTTH Council Conference in London on February 20–21. With applications ranging from central offices and data centers, to cell sites and customer premises, Rapid fiber products offer extensive features and benefits, the company claims.The Rapid Fiber Panel combines IFC cables with fiber panels using TE's RapidReel fiber cable spools, designed to guarantee the cable is always the right length. The microcable terminates to a multi-fiber connector or a breakout with single fiber connectors, which enables a plug-and-play connection to the main distribution frame or other point of connection.The Rapid Box is designed for fast deployment in a multi-dwelling unit environment. By using the RapidReel fiber spool, a Rapid Box can be installed on each floor and connected to the building distribution enclosure with the remaining length coiled in the floor box. It reduces upfront deployment costs by eliminating site survey inspections, reducing labor hours, and streamlining cable requirements.TE Connectivity says its Rapid fiber product range ensures fast fiber-optic cable routing and easy handling by technicians and offers maximum space savings for high-density fiber applications.In addition to the Rapid product line, TE will present its hardened connectivity products with plug-and-play fiber-optic connectors, adapters, converters, terminals and pre-connectorized cables. It is exhibiting at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre, booth G17.
Aurora Networks to buy Harmonic’s cable access business
Aurora Networks and Harmonic Inc. (NASDAQ: HLIT) have signed an agreement through which Harmonic will sell its cable access business to Aurora Networks for $46 million in cash. The two parties expect the transaction to close by the end of the first quarter of 2013.The cable access portfolio includes optical transmitters, amplifiers, receivers, and nodes. Harmonic admits that it doesn’t lead the market in these areas. Nevertheless, the cable access business generated $52.9 million of net revenue with gross margin of approximately 30% in calendar year 2012.
Meanwhile, the products complement Aurora Networks’ line of fiber-based access network systems for cable operators. “Acquiring the assets of Harmonic’s optical transport business extends our access leadership position by adding to our footprint within the cable industry,” said Guy Sucharczuk, chairman, president, and CEO of Aurora Networks. “We are dedicated to the evolution of cable infrastructure. This strategic move is an opportunity for us to further accelerate our innovations, continue to grow, and ensure that the networks of current customers and expanded customer base from Harmonic can meet challenges today and well into the future.”Aurora Networks has been aggressive in expanding its product scope via acquisition. The company bought the PON systems line of Enablence in August 2011 (see “Aurora Networks buys Trident7 PON line from Enablence Technologies”).Harmonic expects to recognize in discontinued operations an after-tax gain of approximately $12 million to $14 million related to the sale.  The net, after-tax cash proceeds from the sale are expected to be approximately $35 million. Harmonic will use the money for a share repurchase program."The sale of the cable access business enables us to sharpen our focus on our largest growth opportunities,” said Patrick Harshman, president and CEO of Harmonic. “Cable access was Harmonic’s lowest margin product line, and through this transaction and the increase in our authorized share repurchase program, we will continue to drive growth in our core markets, expand our gross margin, reduce our outstanding shares, and position our business for stronger long-term earnings.”
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