dcsimg
RealTime IT News

Juniper Networks Buys CMTS Specialist

Sunnyvale, Calif.'s Juniper Networks Inc. Monday moved to acquire privately-held Pacific Broadband Communications in a stock transaction worth about $200 million.

San Jose, Calif.'s Pacific Broadband makes next-generation cable modem termination systems (CMTS), which help cable operators deliver such important IP services as Voice over IP (VoIP), high-speed cable modem access and even DVD-quality video on demand (VoD) over last-mile cable infrastructure.

Of central importance for Juniper, a networking infrastructure leader, is the idea that PBC will help it move beyond the core of its offerings to reach the last mile, which is where CMTS comes in. CMTS exchanges digital signals with cable modems on a cable network. A data service is delivered to a subscriber through channels in a coaxial cable or optical fiber cable to a cable modem installed externally or internally to a subscriber's computer or television set.

When a CMTS receives signals from a cable modem, it converts these signals into Internet Protocol (IP) packets, which are then sent to a router for transmission. When a CMTS sends signals to a cable modem, it modulates the downstream signals for transmission across the cable to the cable modem.

Scott Kriens, chairman, president and CEO of Juniper Networks, said Gartner Dataquest places CMTS revenues at $500 million this year, and expects that figure to grow to $1.3 billion by 2005.

"Importantly, we continue to focus on fundamental transitions that are driving the new IP network," Kriens said in a conference call Monday. "This deal stands to help the global deployment and reliability of high-performance IP and services, and could help drive businesses and enterprises to migrate to IP."

Alok Sharma, president and CEO of Pacific Broadband Communications, said his firm focuses on eliminating last-mile bottlenecks through more dense, noise-reductive copper-based technologies. PBC's flagship CMTS is the Kodiak G10.

"Our custom silicon has been proven to deliver more than 20 times the bandwidth of traditional fibre," Sharma said.

No word as to how PBC employees of offices will be affected, pending the completion of the deal. Expected to close in the fourth quarter, the acquisition has been approved by the board of directors of each company and is subject to various closing conditions including approval under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.