Pelco rides the fiber optic wave

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Wednesday, December 1, 2004

ORANGEBURG, N.Y. - After a year of speculation, surveillance product manufacturer Pelco has come out with its own line if fiber optic transmission equipment.

The first of the company’s products became available to ship to customers in November. Pelco announced the new offering at the ASIS International Show in Dallas in September.

The addition is a major development for Clovis, Calif.-based Pelco, a company that has been built from the ground up and today is regarded as one of the largest manufacturers of surveillance equipment in North America. It enables the company to tap into the transmission of video, data and signals over fiber optics.

Pelco began its development efforts here more than one year ago, after GE Security laid off approximately 50 people from its Fiber Options headquarters in Bohemia, N.Y., and combined those operations with its Kalatel camera brand in California. Pelco hired some of those former Fiber Options employees.

“I don’t think our strategy was as much to open up the market again, as to provide a Pelco product that is fiber optic,” said Victor Biberston, product sales manager for integrated systems at Pelco, about the timing of the company’s efforts.

Instead, Biberston said the catalyst for the move is that more and more surveillance systems today rely on fiber optic communication equipment. And, he said, it was one piece of the puzzle that Pelco was not offering.

What Pelco has come out with is the PelcoFiber line of products. It includes 15 products and a combination of multi- and single-mode receivers and transmitters.

Biberston expects that the number of fiber optic products that Pelco offers to the market to increase within the coming months. He cited that the transportation industry and large campuses, both corporate and institutional, now rely on fiber optics to transmit data and as the need for more bandwidth increases.

Pelco will now be competing with the likes of International Fiber Systems, a GE Security company that also offers fiber optic transmission equipment. Whether Pelco will be able to achieve as large of a market share as IFS - the company reported double digit growth over the last seven years - remains to be seen.

“We think this will be a significant opportunity for Pelco because of the demands that we’re seeing,” said Biberston. “There are bids and proposals for fiber optic that we haven’t been able to support previously.”