Lucent has made its most expensive acquisition yet, shelling out a massive $1 billion in cash for ATM start-up Yurie Systems.
Based in Maryland and billed as a "global leader" in ATM access technology, Yurie develops ATM concentrators that collect data, voice and video traffic and pass it to ATM switches. These devices are aimed at carriers and corporates running wide area networks.
Lucent already rebadges Yurie?s LDR range of concentrators as the Lucent AC60 and AC120 products, to work with its Multiservice Switch 1000.
Bill O?Shea, president of Lucent?s data neworking systems group, said the companies are now working to integrate the concentrator fully with the switch, although a finished product may not appear for another 18 months.
The two companies are also examining how Yurie?s concentrators could be used in Lucent's more traditional ranges, such as central office switches or voice telephony access products.
This acquisition in the latest in a line of purchases by the telecomms equipment vendor. It bought Livingston Enterprises, provider of remote access networking products for the Internet, last December, and bagged Prominet, which develops Lan switching tools in January.
?The ATM access opportunity is growing explosively - at annual rates greater than 60 per cent - and Yurie is the recognised leader in developing and delivering next generation ATM Wan access solutions for multiservice networking,? said O?Shea.
Yurie is expected to retain its partnership agreements with Ericsson and Bay Networks, even though they compete with Lucent in some areas, continued O?Shea.
Nor did he rule out further acquisitions in other areas of Lucent?s business, noting its ambitions in Gigabit Ethernet and network management. O?Shea also said Lucent was keen to develop Terabit Ethernet and frame relay technologies, and server software for security, firewall and billing.
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