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Press Release

European Electronics Research Company Agrees China Joint Venture Deal

UTEL technology designed and built in the UK to enter Chinese Market

Suffolk, UK, December 05 2012, UTEL, creator of a world-first technology called Fast Light which dramatically improves customer service and reduces cost for providers, has agreed a new joint venture with Chinese company Nanjing Orient Info & Tech. Co Ltd.

The joint venture known as UTEL Orient will be based in the country’s commercial capital, Nanjing. As part of the agreement, the Chinese company will market and distribute technologies developed by Europe-based UTEL, a multi-faceted research and development organisation. 

At a major optics tradeshow in September UTEL announced that it had finished work on Fast Light, a groundbreaking solution for automating the fibre repair process and carrying out protection switching of optical line terminal (OLT) ports, a technical achievement never before realised. This technology will be promoted by the joint venture in China where fibre deployment is rapid.

“We are confident that this new joint venture will be very successful as all three of the big Chinese service providers have indicated that they are in need of a fibre faulting solution like Fast Light, especially one which is capable of performing remote diagnostics that the entire industry previously thought  impossible,” said Frank Kaufhold, Managing Director of UTEL.

A single PON fibre failure can result in 64 customers losing their TV or internet access. Fast Light allows service providers to identify all customers potentially affected by a fault remotely, within minutes and sometimes before a single call has to be made to the customer contact centre. This allows the operator to meet restoration expectations whilst dramatically reducing OPEX.

Kaufhold added: “The Chinese market needs a solution like this and we are confident that Nanjing Orient will be the perfect outlet to get it quickly into the rapidly growing fibre market. Fast Light was built for purpose, to detect faults in fibre networks. It therefore operates above and beyond any technology adapted from copper detection technologies.” 

The joint venture announcement is good news for the European technology innovation industry. Recently released research statistics, funded by Nesta, report that the UK’s continued innovation efforts represent 17 percent of its GDP.

Jason Yang, CEO of Nanjing Orient, commented: “This is an important investment for Nanjing Orient, as the Fast Light technology is like no other we have seen demonstrated before. Its commercial and technical benefits are key selling points for us and we can clearly see a viable benefit for both companies involved in this venture. We are looking forward to implementing and benefiting from this creative technology.”

For more information about Fast Light visit www.fastlight.eu

Ends

Notes to editors:

Fast Light Q & A

Why should I be interested in Fast Light? 
Fast Light will dramatically shift the business case for FTTH. It will enable service providers to build better quality FTTH networks quicker and at less cost. Most importantly Fast Light will enable service providers to reduce fibre faulting time from hours or even days to about 1 Minute! In tomorrow’s environment customer service downtime will become ever more critical. A single PON fibre failure can result in 64 customers losing their TV and Internet Access. Fast Light will enable service providers to meet their customer’s service restoration expectations. It will dramatically reduce OpEx and fibre repair time.

Don’t other products already exist that do the same job?
No. Fast Light’s competitor’s solutions rely on the service providers fitting a wavelength dependent mirror in front of every customer’s Optical Network Terminal. This adds an additional 20 Euros cost for every customer connection. A million customers equals 20 Million Euros of extra expenditure. No wonder the business case has bombed for these solutions.

Why hasn’t this been developed before?
Before UTEL achieved it everyone thought that it was impossible. But with a reputation for stretching boundaries UTEL’s innovative people did exactly that. Not only did they develop an OTDR that could see through 128 to 1 splitters but also a truly low cost optical test access switch, which changes the business case for this technology from ‘difficult’ to a no brainer.

What is the benefit for network operators – what differences will it make in the market?  
Fast Light will dramatically reduce fibre repair times and repair costs by eliminating the current ineffective faulting processes. Currently, skilled technicians drive around with hand-held OTDRs trying to locate fibre breaks. With Fast Light a call centre operative can do the same job in about a minute.

The business impact of this is quite mind-boggling. When a PON goes down, the service providers call centre will be flooded with calls. With Fast Light, the first call will result in a Fast Light test, which will locate the fault. Most importantly, Fast Light will also identify all of the other customers affected. When the other customers phone the call centre the transaction time can be minimised as the call centre will be able to tell the customer that the service provider is aware of the fault and that the repair crew is already on the way.

Contrast this with the current situation where each of the 64 customers are led through a fault reporting process, which can take Minutes, and lead to 64 separate trouble tickets. Fast Light is unique in that it enables five star customer service while at the same time dramatically reducing OpEx and simplifying the network operation problem set.

When will Fast Light be available?
Fast Light was launched at the ECOC 2012 show in Amsterdam in mid September.

Is this a global offering?
Fast Light addresses a global problem set and we will be offering the solution globally in conjunction with selected partners. UTEL is an ethical company with strong environmental principles so will not be providing the solution to companies operating in apartheid regimes.

What differentiates UTEL?
UTEL is unique in that it is a multi-faceted R&D organisation that has grown from nothing to a 15 million Euro turnover without external investment or borrowing. Its strengths are the quality of its multinational team of people and ability to develop radical new technology extremely quickly.