Lucent buys into IP services


Lucent Technologies announced plans Tuesday to acquire net switch maker Spring Tide Networks for about $1.3 billion in stock. Lucent already owned a 4 percent stake in Spring Tide, and had OEM agreements with the Maynard, Mass.-based startup.

Janet Davidson, president of Lucent's InterNetworking Systems business, said the acquisition of two-year-old Sprig Tide gives Lucent a strong position in the emerging IP services market. Businesses are turning to so-called broadband service providers rather than implementing such services themselves, Davidson maintained. Examples of IP services are network-based virtual private networks (VPNs), network-based firewalls, and broadband access wholesaling.

B2B e-commerce services that build virtual trading and partner networks with security and address management are also seen as a part of such next-generation services.

Privately-held Spring Tide Networks has raised at least $62 million in venture funding to date. Cofounder and CTO Steve Akers came to his post after serving as CTO and vice president of advanced technology development at router pioneer Shiva. Spring Tide primarily caters to telecom carriers and ISPs.

Earlier this month, Lucent inked a $250 million, two-year deal to provide residential fixed wireless broadband services to AT&T Wireless in four cities. Principal components in the deal included Spring Tide's flagship IP Switch 5000. When AT&T Wireless rolls out the system, it will be able to accept, authenticate, authorize, bill, manage and route customer data traffic.

Includes material from IDG News Service.

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