Pace’s New Business To Boost Satellite

By | September 6, 2007 | Broadcasting, Feature, Telecom

Pace Micro Technology is launching a new business unit, Pace Networks, which it hopes will enable satellite pay-TV operators to effectively deploy advanced solutions to their customers, particularly in urban areas, which are not necessarily suited to satellite. The first product developed within Pace Networks is Pace MultiDweller, a solution that enables operators to deliver a full suite of interactive digital services to customers in multi-dwelling units (MDUs), including digital video, broadband and telephony. Mark Rooney, group account director for Pace Networks, told Satellite News the new business unit will be able to benefit the satellite industry, particularly in urban areas. He said, “MultiDweller is the only solution in the market that enables satellite operators to deliver a full suite of digital services, and to do so cost-effectively. Currently, the solution is to treat potential subscribers in MDUs as an individual Single Family Units (SFUs), with a separate satellite dish installed for each, usually on the balcony. However, if the satellite dish cannot get a direct line of sight, which is more often the case in increasingly built up areas, then this isn’t possible. In addition, building owners frequently refuse permission to drill holes through building fabrics and there are many health and safety laws governing fixtures on balconies.”

Rooney believes MultiDweller is an ideal solution for satellite operators to attack these households. He added, “MultiDweller is situated within an MDU at a suitable distribution point, such as a storeroom or basement. It re-distributes television, telephony and Internet services to each individual dwelling using existing co-axial cables. Today these cables are primarily used to distribute basic analogue television signals. By making efficient use of bandwidth available and having the right technology to manage problems inherent in old co-axial wiring, MultiDweller allows operators to provide an entire suite of advanced digital services without labor intensive infrastructure modification, making it the ideal solution for the satellite operator.”

Rooney confirmed that Pace was “speaking to a large number of DTH operators both in Europe and elsewhere” about these solutions.
Pace Networks will provide solutions to operators across the board (DTH, cable, IPTV etc.) throughout the next 12 months, Rooney is optimistic, the business unit will be able to develop its range of solutions still further. He said, “Pace MultiDweller is a modular collection of very versatile technology blocks which will cater the satellite, cable, telco and ISP markets. An example is the hospitality market where digital content is supplied to hotel rooms. By using existing co-axial cable infrastructure, hotel operators can offer a high-quality video, data and voice service.  Other markets could include: college campus sites, army barracks, holiday parks, gated communities, ships and even aeroplanes. MultiDweller is applicable to a diverse number of markets requiring video/data over co-axial cable and encapsulation of DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) video over Ethernet.”

Rooney believes the creation of Pace Networks “represents a natural evolution” of its business and that it “takes us further up the chain in the delivery of digital content.” He added, “Importantly for our customers, not only can Pace provide the CPE, but we will also license the set-top box technology to enable third party set-top box manufacturers to communicate with MultiDweller.  As such, it makes sense to separate it out from the core set-top box business. Also, the technologies and products being developed within Pace Networks are for operators across the globe, and across all platforms. As such Pace Networks does not sit within a particular region.”

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