Narad Networks, a provider of FTTx solutions for HFC cable systems, has migrated to a switched Ethernet platform and has changed its name to PhyFlex Networks.
The new name (phy=physical ware, flex=flexible) emphasizes the ability of PhyFlex’s new platform – which distributes switched Ethernet over fiber, Ethernet, and coaxial cable – to focus on an operator’s need to increase network bandwidth with a network that can quickly adapt, evolve and expand to meet increasing end user demand.
“We felt we achieved a level of transition that warranted a change in the market,” PhyFlex CEO Michael Collette said of the name change. “We felt any short-term confusion would be small in comparison to the benefit of casting a new light on our new direction.”
Narad focused on the development of advanced modems that took advantage of unused spectrum on the cable plant.
While Narad fixated on the implementation of the modem, PhyFlex will move over to the switch side.
The FTTxSWITCH product is the first of the PhyFlex FTTx family of products, and the first outdoor switch to be certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum as a carrier Ethernet access network platform with both MEF 9 and MEF 14 certification via both fiber and coax. No other products in the family have been announced as of yet, but one will be unveiled at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando, June 19-22, and the other at year’s end, Collette said.
The FTTxSWITCH has successfully completed lab trials and is scheduled for field trials with three top 10 U.S. operators, including Cablevision Systems Corp. and Mediacom Communications Corp. The product is in the field test phase at Cogeco Cable and in the deployment planning phase at Hargray Communications.
Internationally, Westford, Mass.-based PhyFlex will start three trials in Q2, including two in Mexico under the management of Intercable, a Mexican distributor, and one in Korea with World Multi-Net Co., a subsidiary of Kangnam Cable.
The FTTxSWITCH supports fiber-to-the-node (FTTN), fiber-to-the-curb (FTTC) and fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP) configurations, and operators can mix and match fiber, coax and Ethernet cabling in a single switch, as needed.
The product supports Gigabit Ethernet over each of six fiber/Ethernet ports, and 100 Mbps Ethernet over each of four coaxial cable ports.
Collette said PhyFlex’s main focus is expanding for the commercial market, but the company has early start points in the residential market, where the focus is entirely on high-speed residential broadband.
Cablevision’s Optimum Online Ultra is deployed using PhyFlex’s service in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut markets. Collette said the company’s domestic residential market outside of Cablevision is in “study mode.”
PhyFlex recently completed a round of $10 million in financing, and the company is hiring aggressively.
Collette expects the company to grow by 50 percent this year. As of now, the company has about 40 employees, but he expects to have about 60 by the end of the year, with engineering being the segment with the most growth.