|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|Founded||Alameda, California, U.S.|
|Key people||Rob Ryan (founder and CEO)|
|References: Purchased by Lucent Technologies in 1999.|
Ascend Communications designed and manufactured equipment for high density dialup installations, most notably the MAX TNT, which allowed for a ds3 of dialup lines to be terminated in a few rack units. Customers such as AOL, Earthlink, and UUnet purchased over two million dialup ports worth of MAX TNT access servers during the dialup days of the internet. Many companies still use MAX TNT for dialup (look for TNT in dialup hostnames). In the mid-1990s, the company was one of the leading vendors of ISDN modems and concentrators.
Ascend Communications also acquired several companies. The most notable of these was Cascade Communications, which Ascend acquired in 1997. Cascade designed and manufactured high density carrier packet switches, including the B-STDX9000 frame relay switch and the CBX-500 and GX-550 ATM switches. The B-STDX and CBX/GX lines were the workhorses of most RBOC Frame Relay and ATM networks throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century.
In August of 1998 Ascend bought Stratus Computers for $822 million in stock. Stratus was primarily a maker of fault-tolerant computer systems but it owned a Service Control Point technology critical to the convergence of voice and data networks that Ascend valued. The server business was sold off to private equity investors within months, following the Lucent deal. It now operates as Stratus Technologies.
The complete product suite made Ascend an attractive asset, and was acquired by Lucent Technologies in 1999. The $24 billion merger was one of the largest mergers in history.
Ascend's stock traded under the Nasdaq symbol ASND.
- Wilson, David (1998-08-04), "Ascend Confirms Stratus Purchase $822 Million Deal", San Jose Mercury News (Morning Final ed.): 1, ISSN 0747-2099 OCLC not provided due to there being multiple valid values.
- Herhold, Scott (1999-03-06), "Once A Predator, Now Willing Prey", Contra Costa Times (Final ed.): 1, ISSN 0192-0235, OCLC 232117480