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29 February, 2016 - 11:35 By Kate Sweeney

m2fx acquired by New York business

Tom Carpenter

Suffolk-based fibre technology specialist m2fx has been acquired by New York corporation PPC Broadband, Inc and is now trading as PPC Broadband Fiber Ltd.

m2fx chief executive, Tom Carpenter (pictured), said the acquisition demonstrated three key trends in the FTTH market.

Firstly, it showed that the fibre to the premises/home (FTTP/FTTH) sector was moving into a new phase. “As the broadband market evolves, operators are moving beyond trials and small implementations to large, city or countrywide FTTH/FTTP roll outs,” he said.

“We are not forecasting the imminent end of broadband coax or DSL. However, in developed economies we are seeing disruptive companies, such as Google Fiber®, compelling the broadband market to accelerate FTTH adoption.

“In developing countries, greenfield broadband networks are overwhelmingly going straight to FTTP for cost and future-proofing reasons. Finally, consumer demand is increasing, and satisfaction levels with FTTH are far ahead of other broadband technologies. This brings its own challenges, particularly for teams that have many years of experience at installing copper for the last drop and fibre for backbone networks.

“What operators require are cost-effective ways of installing last drop connections – hence the rising use of the pushable and pre-connectorised fibre that we have pioneered.

“This allows faster, cheaper implementations that don’t require entire crews to be reskilled or to use expensive equipment such as blowing machines or fibre splicers.”

Carpenter said that as part of PPC, the business would have the opportunity to further develop its high-end pushable products and make FTTP/FTTH deployments even easier.

He added: “The days of separate cable, fixed-line and cellular operators are limited – there is now much greater competition between telecoms providers, with each aiming to provide the service capacity, speed, and content that customers are looking for.

“We strongly believe that the consolidation of broadband operating companies is going to lead to a consolidation of broadband equipment and technology suppliers.

“While individual purchasing budgets will increase, merged operating companies are going to endeavour to find synergistic savings by rationalising their supply chains. This means there are going to be winners and losers over the next few years. We believe that companies providing their customers with a full range of broadband solutions incorporating fibre, DSL cable and coax are going to be the winners.

“Through the acquisition, PPC is now such a company. It is the global leader in broadband coax connectivity solutions, and through Belden supports both DSL and Ethernet solutions as well.

“m2fx’s product range complements PPC in telecommunications areas such as fibre cabling and FTTP technologies. Making the combined companies’ technologies available to operators provides a system solution, gives more choice from a trusted supplier, and opens up new opportunities and markets.”

Carpenter also spelled out the continued innovation agenda of the combined business.

He said: “PPC has more patents in connector technology than any other company worldwide, while m2fx invented the pushable fibre concept and has introduced multiple innovations around its grooved fibrecable design.

“All of us in the combined company are committed to continuing this focus on introducing new technology and techniques that directly benefit operators, network planners, installation and maintenance crews.

“We’re delighted to become part of the PPC and Belden family and look forward to working together to create further innovation in the broadband market that benefits our customers, end users and helps drive the industry forward.”

The m2fx CFO Joe Byrne was previously at Cambridge Nanotherm, Cambridge Broadband Networks and Ubinetics.

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