by Colin Morris, Business Development Manager
2008: Whether you are a teleport operator, broadcaster, systems integrator or satellite equipment manufacturer, the chances are that at some point you will have come across a situation where for one or more reasons traditional methods of connecting an antenna with the transmitting/receiving equipment just will not fly. Problems such as signal loss due to excessive cable length, electromagnetic interference, and the restriction of bandwidth plague copper based installations and in almost all cases the only way to resolve these issues is to use a fibre optic link.
PPM is a U.K. company specialising in fibre optic converters for the communications industry and have been supplying fibre optic links to many of the world major Satellite companies for a number of years. The companys ViaLite® product is well known in the communications industry and is helping many satellite equipment manufactures, network engineers, network installers and systems integrators to realise the next generation future proof transmission fabric.
As 2008 draws to a close and we look back on the challenges that were faced by the industry, our attention is drawn to the growth in services such as DTH and the demand for more High Definition (HD) services and an increased demand on bandwidth. PPM and the ViaLite® platform is instrumental in helping network engineers design systems that can cope with this increased demand.
Throughout 2008, enquiries in both the Satcom and Broadcast markets have been steady and overall the order level for standard ViaLite® equipment was up by almost 15 percent on that of 2007. That said, some of the traditional markets serviced by PPMs ViaLite, such as large Satcom projects, have slowed somewhat, only to be replaced by an uptake in broadcast based projects such as fibre optic backhaul for wireless camera systems.
The past 12 months have also seen some advances in the evolution of the ViaLite range and, with the move towards the integration of Ethernet based monitoring and control, PPM introduced the LRC-1 SNMP based alarm monitoring unit. This is an upgrade module enabling new and existing customers to integrate the monitoring of their installed ViaLite equipment with any Ethernet based network.
In addition, the pace of evolution in equipment for VSAT and similar equipment has brought additional new requirements for the monitoring and control of items such as block up/down converters. To cater for these requirements PPM developed the first Ultra Wideband fibre optic converter with an additional digital channel on the same fibre. This allows users to transport signals between 10MHz & 4.2GHz (L-band etc) and a serial digital signal such as RS485, RS422, and so on, at speeds of up to 19.2 Kbps over a single fibre link.
This, along with a similar product covering the 2KHz to 4.2GHz frequencies, is compatible with most modems and BUCs that require serial communications or an FSK signal for configuration and control. By using these modules the cost is reduced and space is saved through using only one converter at each end and thus reducing the number of fibre optic cores required in the cross-site cable.
With a strong, mature, and evolving product, it is necessary to have good exposure and representation in the different world markets. From the beginning of 2008, PPM started to enhance its representation in Europe and the USA with new distribution partners such as AG Franz in New Jersey, Diginet in Belgium and TelLink in Germany, to name a few. With stronger partners and better representation, PPM have seen an increase in both the awareness of ViaLite® as a brand and a steady increase in the order level over the year.
2009: PPM has always been an innovative company. We are proud to have a strong and skilled engineering team that, in the coming year, will continue to develop the ViaLite product range, embracing new technology and techniques to cope with the ever increasing demands of the industry. The dynamic team at PPM are always ready to assist customers with differing needs from variations of standard products through to complete custom system solutions to meet particular project requirements. We will continue to be strong in both Satcom and Broadcast market segments and in military, government and special communications applications.
With the turmoil in the world economy PPM is positioned to cope with the turbulent times ahead by being active in several market sectors. As 2008 draws to a close, we wish both our customers and partners a merry Christmas and a happy and profitable New Year.