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Tenor’s curious silence now permanent

Mar 07, 20032 mins
Cellular NetworksMPLS

Other start-ups forge alliances to stay alive; Lucent strikes deal with the Feds

After a couple of years of virtual silence, Tenor Networks is about to be silent for good. The New England start-up last week said it is winding down operations after its initial development of an MPLS core switch failed to gain traction, and its subsequent plans to develop a Layer 2-to-MPLS edge aggregation device came too late to save the company. Tenor stopped singing long before last week’s closure announcement though. Almost two years ago, as the telecom slump was ramping up, the company ceased its relentless whitepaper pushing and refused to return reporters’ calls. So the writing was on the wall back then, but perhaps the only one that didn’t see Tenor’s demise coming was company CEO Dave Tolwinski. In an interview last spring to explain Tenor’s shift from the MPLS core to the Ethernet edge, Tolwinski said: “The only thing that’s going to sink us is if this (market) doesn’t recover by 2005.” (Read the story)

Vivace Networks and Fujitsu Network Communications. FNC will provide engineering, furnishing and installation services for Vivace’s multiservice IP switches. The agreement mirrors others struck between start-ups and established vendors. FNC has a similar arrangement with edge router newcomer Laurel Networks and multiservice core switch maker Equipe Communications. Ciena has investments and distribution agreements with Equipe and multiservice edge switch maker WaveSmith Networks. (Read the story)

To ensure that they do not follow Tenor Networks into oblivion – and to gain a more accurate read on their futures – other start-ups are forging alliances with established vendors as a prerequisite for selling into the incumbent carriers. The latest example is a support and services deal between MPLS edge and core switch maker 

 reached an agreement with the Security and Exchange Commission to resolve the SEC’s investigation of the company. In November and December 2000, Lucent said it found accounting problems and adjusted downward its revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter of 2000. The SEC subsequently began an investigation of the company and then extended that investigation beyond the 2000 restatement. Under last week’s agreement, Lucent would not have to pay any fines or penalties or make any financial restatements. The deal also enjoins Lucent from future violations of the antifraud, reporting, books and records and internal control provisions of federal securities laws. (Read the story)


Managing Editor

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 28 years, 23 at Network World. He covers enterprise networking infrastructure, including routers and switches. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy and at

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