Melita Cable considering moving into
fixed line market
Cable has a distinct vision for the liberalisation of the telecommunications
sector at the beginning of next year and it hasnt ruled out venturing
into Maltas hitherto monopolised fixed line market.
Interviewed by The Malta Financial and Business Times this week (see
pages 10 and 11), Joe Spiteri, Melita Cables Head of Strategic
Planning and Development for Technology spelt out the companys
triple play strategy, although the technology required for
it is still under development.
Speaking on the telecom sectors pending liberalisation, Spiteri
said that the company would be looking to capitalise on the development,
as he explains, "To this end, what we have as a strategy is what
is known as a triple play entertainment, data and telephony coming
in via one cable. At present we are investigating Voice over IP, an
emerging technology readily adaptable to our system."
As such, Maltas cable television carrier would be in a position
to provide through one box, cable television, cable Internet and fixed
line telephony. The idea, Spiteri explains, is technically feasible,
as at the end of the day all data is represented digitally.
This gateway vision, having an entire households communications
needs being served by one cable and one box, has long been the dream
of communications experts.
Providing further details on the technical considerations, Spiteri says,
"Consumers wont need a box in each and every room of the
house, as there are a number of ways in which data can be distributed.
"One means of home distribution is called the power line network,
by which you plug in a box into the power supply, which provides the
household with data as well as electricity. There is a great deal of
research in that field at the moment.
"There is also a means of wireless distribution. I have seen a
portable tablet with a minute antenna, which provides one with television,
data, communications, a PDA, a telephone line and many other peripherals.
The technology is definitely there - what was imagined a few years ago
is now todays reality. The rate of progress in technology is squaring
itself every couple of years.
"However, I should be clear that we are not going to start voice
in January 2003, it is a long process. But that is the direction in
which technology is taking us.
"Of course, this technology is still in its initial stages and
we, as Melita Cable, always ensure that when we give our customers a
technology it is fully functional and proven."
with Joe Spiteri