Arkansas-based service provider to offer high-speed, low-latency communications and business services; support mobile backhaul requirements for Tier 1 mobile operators

Ciena® Corporation (NASDAQ: CIEN), the network specialist, today announced that Ritter Communications, an Arkansas-based communications provider, has deployed Ciena’s packet networking and converged packet optical technologies throughout its regional fiber optic network that serves over 25,000 Internet subscribers in Arkansas and west Tennessee. With this powerful combination of packet networking and converged packet optical solutions, the expanded network will provide businesses, community anchors and residents in previously underserved locations with advanced Ethernet service delivery and a cost-effective means to transport high-speed data services while also providing carriers with cellular backhaul and business services.

Key Facts:

  • Ritter is a fifth-generation family business founded in 1886. Today, through a modern, intelligent infrastructure, Ritter owns and operates two rural local exchange carriers (RLECs) in northeast and north central Arkansas, acompetitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) and a fiber optic network in Jonesboro, Arkansas. In December 2012, Ritter completed its purchase of Millington Telephone Company, Inc. and Millington CATV, Inc. which represents approximately 20,000 business and residential customers in parts of Shelby, Tipton, Haywood and Fayette counties in West Tennessee.
  • Ciena’s packet networking solutions, including its 5150 Service Aggregation Switch and 3930 Service Delivery Switch, provide Ritter with increased scalability and protection of services needed to meet their growing end-user demands. The platforms support leading Operations, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) standards, and provide Service Level Agreement (SLA) insights allowing Ritter to ensure more accurate service management and fault isolation across a greater number of services.
  • Ritter is also leveraging Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic Coherent Optical Processors, a robust solution that will increase capacity and support the mobile backhaul demands of two Tier 1 U.S. wireless carriers and their migration to 4G services. The 6500 allows Ritter to easily scale capacity and program its network to deliver 10G and 40G wavelength services today, with the ability to scale to 100G in the future.
  • Ritter will also leverage packet networking capabilities recently made available on the 6500 platform, which enable several Carrier Ethernet functions and provide Ritter with a cost-effective solution to transport optical traffic and Ethernet services without the need to install additional Ethernet switches. Designed for easy customization, the new packet networking functions on 6500 will give Ritter the ability to dial packet services up or down as needed to meet customer-specific service requirements more efficiently.
  • An excellent example of Ciena’s OPn network architecture, Ritter’s expanded network will provide high-speed, low latency broadband and business Ethernet services to businesses and residents in areas of Arkansas and west Tennessee which are currently faced with connectivity limitations due to a lack of resources and geographic challenges such as the divide caused by the Mississippi River.
  • Ciena is also providing Ritter with its advanced network management solution and a range of professional services for this deployment via its Ciena Specialist Services portfolio, including installation, turn-up and testing.

Executive Comments:

  • “We are seeing a substantial increase in the demand for broadband connectivity as new innovations in the form of distance learning, telehealth and e-commerce take hold. By deploying a combination of Ciena’s packet networking and converged packet optical portfolio solutions, we are ensuring that our customers across Arkansas and western Tennessee have a reliable network that has the intelligence to scale appropriately and efficiently to meet these requirements today, and in the future. Our customers are thrilled that we are bringing the benefits of a super direct, low latency, high speed broadband network to their doorstep.”
    -     Steve Smith, vice president of sales, Ritter Communications
  • “Ritter has demonstrated clear leadership by upgrading its network infrastructure and expanding its reach to offer Tier 1 quality connectivity services, and cutting-edge capabilities to help spur economic development in the communities it serves. Ciena’s combined packet networking and coherent optical solutions will help to ensure businesses, community anchors and residents have a cost-effective infrastructure in place to help improve the quality of life and work for Ritter customers.”
    -     Chad Whalen, vice president and general manager, North America field operations, Ciena

Technology Leadership:

  • Ciena is the pioneer and market leader of coherent optical technology with 20,000 coherent 40G/100G line interfaces shipped to over 100 customers across the globe, with more than 20 million coherent kilometers deployed.
  • Designed for network modernization, Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform converges comprehensive Ethernet, TDM, and WDM capabilities into one platform for cost-effective delivery of emerging and existing services—from the access edge to the backbone core. 6500 systems also support directionless and colorless ROADM functionality, which combine with OTN/packet switching to maximize the bandwidth efficiency and flexibility of the overall network.
  • Used by more than 150 carriers, wireless service providers and cable operators worldwide, Ciena’s packet solutions improve service agility by concentrating complexities onto fewer platforms, better utilizes the right network element and technology for the job, economically supports higher densities and increases overall network capacity, and enables faster transition from declining legacy services to growing packet services.
  • OPn is Ciena’s approach for building open, programmable next-generation networks that scale and automatically adapt to handle the changes created by cloud/data center migration, mobile broadband and the growing demand for high-bandwidth applications and services.

Supporting Resources:

About Ritter Communications

Ritter Communications has grown from a local telephone company founded in Marked Tree, Arkansas in 1906 to a regional telecommunications provider serving 50 communities and over 40,000 customers in northeast and north central Arkansas as well as west Tennessee with a full suite of communications services.

Headquartered today in Jonesboro, Arkansas, Ritter continues to expand its sphere of comprehensive services including high speed WAN, metro Ethernet, managed services, Internet access, cloud based applications and video. Additionally, Ritter has partnered to provide connectivity to national and regional broadband networks such as: Arkansas e-link, ARE-ON and Internet2 which provide a positive impact on the communities Ritter serves.

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About Ciena
Ciena is the network specialist. We collaborate with customers worldwide to unlock the strategic potential of their networks and fundamentally change the way they perform and compete. Ciena leverages its deep expertise in packet and optical networking and distributed software automation to deliver solutions in alignment with OPn, its approach for building open next-generation networks. We enable a high-scale, programmable infrastructure that can be controlled and adapted by network-level applications, and provide open interfaces to coordinate computing, storage and network resources in a unified, virtualized environment. We routinely post recent news, financial results and other important announcements and information about Ciena on our website. For more information, visit

Note to Ciena Investors
Forward-looking statements.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements are based on information available to the Company as of the date hereof; and Ciena's actual results could differ materially from those stated or implied, due to risks and uncertainties associated with its business, which include the risk factors disclosed in its Report on Form 10-K, which Ciena filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on December 21, 2012. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Ciena's expectations, beliefs, intentions or strategies regarding the future and can be identified by forward-looking words such as "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "should," "will," and "would" or similar words. Ciena assumes no obligation to update the information included in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.