ALCATEL, NORTEL FLESH OUT OPTICAL PRODUCT PORTFOLIOS; Astral Point purchase gives Alcatel ownership of the 'God box'.

Lucent Technologies Chairman Henry Schacht may be steering his company back to its roots, but Alcatel Chairman and CEO Serge Tchuruk has his firm exploring new areas with plans to buy metro optical systems developer Astral Point Communications for $135 million.

"We are more than happy [with the Astral Point purchase] because we had to do something on the Sonet side of the business," said Christian Reinaudo, president of Alcatel's optics division. "Sonet will dominate the metro market for some time."

Alcatel is acquiring a multiservice provisioning platform that incorporates digital cross-connect functionality with dense wave division multiplexing and Sonet add/drop multiplexing into one box. …

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