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Lucent Technologies and Simpler Networks to Develop Platform to Automate "Last Mile" Provisioning of Broadband Services


Lucent Automated Cross Connect to cut operating costs for service providers by enabling setup of broadband services at remote terminals and street cabinets without a visit by a technician

OCTOBER 10, 2006 - PARIS - BROADBAND WORLD FORUM EUROPE 2006 (CNIT LA DEFENSE, STAND #3010) -- Lucent Technologies (NYSE: LU) and Simpler Networks, a telecommunications equipment and software manufacturer, today announced a joint development agreement under which the two companies are developing a new automated cross connect platform to enable service providers to dramatically reduce the cost of initiating new services to their subscribers at the “last mile.”

The Lucent Automated Cross Connect (AXC) enables service providers to establish high-bandwidth services over copper and optical fiber access networks without having to send field technicians to remote terminals or street cabinets, a time-consuming process which represents a significant portion of a service provider´s operating expenses. The Lucent AXC also dramatically reduces the time to market for initiation of end-user services - which typically takes hours or even days - to just a few minutes.

The joint development agreement covers collaboration on the enhancement of Simpler Networks´ central office AMDF technology for remote applications, provides for exclusivity for key customer sets and involves an undisclosed investment in Simpler Networks by Lucent. The agreement builds on a reseller relationship established earlier this year under which Lucent is offering Simpler Networks´ central office EZ-MDF™ automated main distribution frame (AMDF) hardware and software along with its own end-to-end suite of integration and professional services to help service providers install and integrate the AMDF products in their networks.

“The Lucent Automated Cross Connect will help service providers dramatically reduce the cost of initiating new services -- such as IPTV -- for their subscribers,” said Rob Piconi, vice president and general manager, Broadband Solutions, Lucent Technologies. “Because it will reduce the time it takes to turn up service, the Lucent AXC can also help operators improve customer satisfaction, attract new subscribers and accelerate new service rollouts.”

The Lucent AXC will incorporate micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology developed by Simpler Networks for its central office platform, and enhanced through a co-development effort between the two companies that leverages the considerable expertise of Bell Labs, a pioneer in MEMS and nanotechnology research and development. MEMS technology is 200 times smaller than the conventional telecom relays used today so it requires less space and power, two factors that improve a service provider´s operating costs.

“Our central office EZ-MDF™ and MEMS technology are already in service in both North America and Europe,” said Harry Carr, CEO of Simpler Networks. “By bringing this automated deployment capability even closer to the end-user, the new outside plant product we are developing with Lucent will greatly improve the cost profile of new service introduction for service providers.”

“The Lucent AXC extends technological innovation and well-defined product differentiation in the area of reducing the operator capital costs historically associated with upgrading street cabinets for the introduction of new broadband access technologies and services,” said Ron Westfall, Principal Analyst, Broadband Infrastructure, Current Analysis. “The Lucent AXC capabilities such as any-to-any provisioning of broadband services are designed to create the provisioning flexibility required to rapidly deploy emerging access technologies such as VDSL2 as well as blended, multimedia service offerings.”

With the Lucent-Simpler Networks AMDF solution, local service providers also will be able to provision and test new customer services within minutes, rather than using manual systems that can take days or weeks, and significantly lower their operations costs.

About Lucent Technologies
Lucent Technologies designs and delivers the systems, services and software that drive next-generation communications networks. Backed by Bell Labs research and development, Lucent uses its strengths in mobility, optical, software, data and voice networking technologies, as well as services, to create new revenue-generating opportunities for its customers, while enabling them to quickly deploy and better manage their networks. Lucent’s customer base includes communications service providers, governments and enterprises worldwide. For more information on Lucent Technologies, which has headquarters in Murray Hill, N.J., USA, visit

About Simpler Networks
Simpler Networks is a technology leader driving the automation of copper distribution frames in central offices and street cabinets. Its products enable local service providers to deploy advanced services competitively, accelerate revenues and reduce costs. Using Simpler Networks´ revolutionary MEMS-based system, service providers are able to cost-effectively automate distribution frames. The company´s solution is highly scalable and meets the requirements of a wide range of central offices. Simpler Networks is a privately held company. Investors include Highland Capital Partners, Kodiak Venture Partners, Solidarity Fund QFL, Lothian Partners and BCE Capital. For more information, please visit


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