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Cable/Video

Technetix taps Arris vet for Americas push

With an eye the on rising opportunities created by cable's migration to distributed access architectures and future multi-gigabit services, Technetix has hired industry vet Sandy Howe to head up the company's business in the Americas region.

As an exec with previous roles at Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Howe is well-known in cable operator circles and will put that experience to use as she helms all functions for Technetix Group Ltd. 's business in the US, Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, including sales, customer service, product management, finance, human resources and operations.

Howe, who most recently was SVP and GM of the consumer products group at Arris, said the new role gives her an opportunity to return to her roots – namely fiber optics and networking technology and working directly with cable operators.

U.K.-based Technetix is a key supplier in Europe, with Liberty Global Inc. (Nasdaq: LBTY) among its customers. Liberty Global Ventures made a £7.5 million (US$9.76 million) strategic investment in Technetix in July 2016. (See Liberty Global Invests in Technetix.)

Howe, who reports to company founder and CEO Paul Broadhurst, is tasked with expanding the company's presence in the Americas, which was partly established in 2015 when Technetix acquired the Arris Supply Division. She'll also be working closely with company CTO Jan Ariesen and chief product officer Jürgen Hatheier to develop products and systems tailored for the Americas market.

Technetix believes it has an opportunity to broaden its business in the Americas using a mix of low-power remote PHY nodes and "Virtualization Segmentation." That approach could pay off as cable operators move ahead with new distributed access architectures and begin to lay the groundwork for Full Duplex DOCSIS, an annex to DOCSIS 3.1 that will support multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds and extend the life of cable's widely deployed HFC networks. (See CableLabs Pushes Full Duplex Forward and Cable DAA Debuts Worldwide.)

"There's pressure on the network, and Technetix has some new technologies... that can solve those problems," she said.

Technetix's low-power approach, which aims to deliver a power budget that's about 15% less than some comparable remote PHY nodes, could give the company an advantage over other suppliers as MSOs become increasingly eager to cut energy requirements and chop down their operational expenses. (See SCTE/ISBE, Cable Operators Launch Energy Competition and Using Energy 2020 Output to Control Cable's Power Needs.)

"Cable operators would certainly give that a look," Jeff Heynen, consulting director at SNL Kagan , said, noting that cable's move to DAA should open up the market for suppliers as MSOs replace amps with optical nodes.

"It's a good time to join [that market] if you execute correctly," he said. "You can ramp up revenue pretty quick."

Technetix also hopes its Virtualization Segmentation system can resonate in the Americas as it has started to in parts of Europe.

That system is designed to help MSOs put more data on the coax part of the network and deploy remote PHY without having to pull fiber deeper and do so without requiring the operator to dig into streets and buildings. That approach calls on operators to replace legacy amplifiers with low-power nodes and establishing a link between the core and PHY portion of the network.

According to the company, the approach enables up to 10 Gbit/s of symmetrical traffic using RF spectrum to overlay Ethernet traffic on coax.

Arris was quick to fill the gap following Howe's departure, as the company said it has promoted Evan Groat to lead its consumer products group unit. Groat was part of the team that created Arris's direct-to-consumer business and the building of its SURFBoard brand, the company said.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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