Easy 'no wires' broadband connection to multiple PCs - for the ultimate connected home
Consumers in the UK will be the first to have broadband internet access on any PC, anywhere in the home, without the need for additional wiring or installation.
From next month, for the first time, Pace Micro Technology's wireless 'plug and play' home networking devices will be tested in homes throughout the UK as part of a wireless access trial being conducted by NTL Home, the UK's leading broadband service company. Trial householders will be able to surf the internet on several PCs - or even roam the house with a laptop connected to the web - while watching digital cable TV or making a telephone call.
Trialists will benefit from fast, always-on broadband connection via a wireless link that communicates between the home gateway (NTL's digital cable set-top box or cable modem) and the PC. The home networking technology will effectively create a wireless broadband bubble around the home, within which users are permanently connected to the internet.
Pace's home networking platform has been in development for over two years and has been designed as an easy to install and use platform for both the consumer and service provider. Central to this strategy has been a 'no new wires' stance. The trial will analyse the ease of consumer installation and how the wireless platform impacts broadband usage.
"Our home networking platform will work with digital home gateways already deployed by NTL," explains Andy Trott, CEO of Networked & Connected Devices Division. "Trialists will simply plug Pace's Gateway Expander into their Home Gateway's Ethernet port, attach a pcConnect to as many laptops or desktop PCs as they want and they are ready to go."
The next generation of Pace products will extend opportunities for in-home networks. Operators will be able to combine video, data and voice services using VoIP and Packet Cable standards for wireless distribution throughout the home. A host of new applications will also be possible from audio and game downloads to new opportunities for operators to share incremental revenues with other providers of networked home services by, for example leasing bandwidth to utility companies for remote diagnostics.
Malcolm Miller, Pace's CEO commented: "Our networked home technology is designed for operators such as NTL to create new revenue generating opportunities for minimal additional investment and extend their customer appeal. Pace is excited about deploying its home networking technology in real home situations where we can demonstrate to both operators and consumers, the real and practical services of the home gateway enabled networked home."
How it works:
The trial will use Pace's Gateway Expander™ and pcConnect™ to create the wireless home networking link. Participants simply plug Gateway Expander into the ethernet port of their existing digital cable home gateway or cable modem. To complete the link to the PC, trialists will use Pace's pcConnect. This device plugs into the USB port of a PC anywhere in the home, creating an always-on, wireless two-way link to the cable broadband network through the Gateway Expander. The DECT wireless data standard will be used to distribute data reliably around the home, at distances ranging from 50 - 100 metres. DECT is one of a number of emerging standards in this field and is commercially available today.
About Pace Micro Technology
Pace Micro Technology plc is a pioneer of digital technology for the home and has helped build the global market for pay television services. Using this expertise, Pace is evolving the set-top box into a home gateway to enable sophisticated services for TV and the networked home. In this networked home, the Pace home gateway is the portal for interactive communications, for consumer devices and services to interact with each other and the outside world. Pace was the largest European supplier of home gateways (set-top boxes) during 2000. Its analogue and digital technology has been installed in over thirteen million homes worldwide since it was founded in 1982. The company is now actively involved in all digital platforms - satellite, terrestrial, cable, wireless and xDSL - through alliances with broadcasters, network operators and technology partners in the UK, USA, Europe, Latin America, Australasia and the Far East. These achievements were made possible through the commitment of Pace's 1000 strong workforce, over half of whom are research and development engineers, dedicated to the development of digital technology for the home and small and home office markets. Pace's head office is in Shipley West Yorkshire, with further offices in Bracknell, Cambridge, the USA and Hong Kong. The company's shares are traded on the London Stock Exchange (PIC). For further information, please visit Pace's web site.