COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Riverstone Networks Inc. has received a much-needed boost from Lucent Technologies Inc. (Murray Hill, N.J.), in the form of a sales and marketing pact to bring Ethernet and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) services to carriers.
The deal carries the fringe benefit for Riverstone of integrating its systems into networks using Juniper Networks routers in the core, and Riverstone switch-router systems at the edge of the public network. Lucent has been a close partner of Juniper's for the last two years.
The move comes at a critical time for Riverstone, since the company has been caught in a year-long cash crunch, and announced Sept. 15 it would provide an update on an audit of its fiscal year on Oct. 15. Riverstone, formerly the public-network switching group of the dissolved Cabletron Systems Inc., has seen growing acceptance of the MPLS switching platform originally developed by Yago Systems Inc., which Cabletron acquired prior to the formation of Riverstone.
But the company has been under the gun since the summer of 2003, when Securities and Exchange Commission probes and a threatened Nasdaq delisting made it more difficult for Riverstone to establish new markets.
More recently, the company has aimed its Ethernet edge services at Asian carriers, where it is winning new deployment contracts. This week's deal with Lucent carries an immediate benefit in the form of a contract from Telefonica, Spain's leading service provider. Lucent and Riverstone will collaborate to develop a network that delivers Ethernet- and IP-based services to the home-over-broadband links. The "Imagenio" branded services in Spain will be based on IP multimedia services over DSL, using Lucent's popular "Stinger" digital subscriber line access multiplexer, and Riverstone's Ethernet-based switch routers, including its new XGS 9000 family.
Under terms of the new pact, Lucent will resell the Riverstone XGS platforms, and will provide technical support and maintenance directly to carrier customers. The agreement may also allow future direct integration of Riverstone subsystems into Lucent equipment, where appropriate.