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Quietly, Sonus Adds AT&T to Customer List

Sonus Networks has posted strong third-quarter results, in part because of a previously unannounced order from AT&T .

"The revenue mix this quarter was driven by four 10 percent customers," Hassan Ahmed, president and CEO of the Westford, Mass., company, said in a conference call.

To keep investors informed, SEC rules require public companies to disclose customers who make up 10 percent or more of their revenues.

Three -- Verizon , Qwest and Global Crossing -- are longtime users of Sonus' packet voice hardware and software.

But AT&T is new. The appearance of the New Jersey voice and data giant piqued the interest of reporters and analysts who follow Sonus.

Unfortunately, a confidentiality agreement between Sonus and AT&T prevented Ahmed from commenting on the exact value of the deal, the kind of equipment purchased, or the likelihood that the relationship will grow.

Sonus posted revenues of $28.6 million in the third quarter, up 34 percent from the previous quarter. So, the AT&T deal was worth at least $2.86 million.

Net income for the third quarter was $1.2 million or 1 cent per share, compared with a net loss of $3.2 million or 1 cent per in the second quarter.

Ahmed said he is optimistic about the overall telecom equipment market, seeing carriers' request for proposals increasing. Much of the near-term business will come from wireless network operators, he said.

"There is a critical need for wireless carriers for packet voice," Ahmed said. "Traffic growing quite nicely and infrastructure is needed to support it. But (average revenue per user) has declined. So a significant focus of wireless service providers is to reduce costs."

Sonus' equipment helps them do that, said Ahmed, who noted that the company recently marked its sixth anniversary.