20 September 2010


Finisar acquires EPON ‘system on a transceiver’ firm Broadway

Fiber-optic communications component and subsystem maker Finisar Corp of Sunnyvale, CA, USA has acquired Broadway Networks Ltd in an all-cash transaction.

Broadway Networks was founded in 2006 to develop transceiver products incorporating additional ‘system level’ functionality for FTTx networks. The firm has developed a pluggable transceiver that incorporates an Ethernet passive optical network (EPON) optical network unit (ONU) in an small form-factor pluggable (SFP) module and enables switches, routers and other customer premises equipment (CPE) to connect directly to PON networks. This ‘system on a transceiver’ approach offers advantages for PON networks deployed for broadband services to multi-dwelling units, businesses and for wireless backhaul, it is claimed.

Finisar says that it expects to follow a product roadmap that will eventually extend Broadway's technology to the GPON (Gigabit passive optical network) market. According to industry analyst Ovum, about 65% of new EPON subscribers and a smaller but growing percentage of GPON subscribers reside in multi-dwelling units.

Broadway has also developed a ‘Smart SFP’ with built-in remote management functionality designed to enable telecom carriers to monitor and diagnose the fiber links connecting customer sites, and reduce operating costs in the process.

“Broadway’s EPON Stick puts networking capability inside the pluggable transceiver,” says Ovum principal analyst Karen Liu. “Because it is based on a ubiquitous standards-based form factor, it immediately creates a new market. Combining with a market leader like Finisar, who can scale this technology going forward, is a great move for the whole industry,” she comments.

“As a customer of both companies and as a leading provider of EPON equipment, this acquisition is great news,” states Takashi Mori, president, Hitachi Communication Technologies America Inc. “With Finisar’s sales, marketing, and engineering support, this combination should greatly accelerate the adoption of these innovative EPON stick products,” he adds.

“Broadway’s technology fits nicely with our strong position in digital diagnostics and our strategic goal of continuing to incorporate more functionality inside a transceiver,” says Finisar’s executive chairman Jerry Rawls. “We’re also impressed by the long list of customers who have already qualified Broadway’s products,” he adds, while noting that revenues are just getting started.

The acquisition should bring about broader acceptance of the products to a growing PON market, reckons Broadway’s CEO Dr Jianhui Zhou, who becomes Finisar’s VP & general manager, Fiber Access Products.

Finisar does not expected the acquisition to have a significant impact on revenue or earnings in the near term. Broadway’s operating locations include San Jose, CA, USA and Beijing and Suzhou, China, so the acquisition will expand Finisar's footprint in China beyond its existing operations in Shenzhen and Shanghai.

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