Pace 2Wire purchase puts engineers in customer care
By Julian Clover
Published: October 20, 2010 19.19 Europe/London

Pace has completed its €351 million purchase of US gateway company 2Wire, bringing with it a new line of expertise and a technology-based customer care centre.

Pace president and CEO Neil Gaydon told Broadband TV News that the gateway business was expected to represent an overall seven billion dollar market by 2014 from today’s two billion.

“As an adjacent market it will build us relationships with telcos and other customers that we don’t have. If you look at our customer portfolio today without 2Wire it is by and large traditional pay-TV operators, cable and satellite, with the likes of BT and a few others. When you overlay 2Wire with AT&T, Bell Canada and SingTel, it adds a whole slew of telcos.”

Gaydon said that Pace would benefit from knowing the “language of telcos” through standards, testing and engineering.

Telcos are currently working with the TR-069 remote management protocol – a standard that is already gaining some traction among US cablenets such as Cox Communications. Gaydon admitted there was currently little knowledge of TR-069, which could now be added to the company’s expertise in DOCSIS 3.

In addition to the development of gateways themselves, 2Wire also provides technology-based call centres for customers to AT&T. “When AT&T launch a new product or service it’s difficult for their customers to make it work. The AT&T call centres typically don’t have the skills to talk people through the technology, so the 2Wire call centres typically deal with the first integration phase”.

The system is capable of viewing 2Wire software within the AT&T network and the residential gateway, so when a customer calls it is possible to view the circumstances surrounding the issue, and pass on any bug reports to the relevant engineer.

Gaydon said he would consider extending the call centres to the company’s US cable customers.