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WA telecommunications business takes new path

WA telco Pahth Telecommunications is rebuilding itself as a satellite videoconference system provider.

The company recently concluded the $1.85 million sale of its once core re-billing service that had attracted more than 3,000 small to medium enterprise customers.

Now it is turning its hand to the videoconferencing market, fielding its own invention – Global Audio Video – a video conference unit with a satellite link that can be used anywhere.

A Pahth stockmarket announcement claimed the system was capable of producing a picture rate of 12 frames per second and “excellent” audio. Australian television operates on around 25 frames a second.

It also acts as a voice phone and a data source for Internet or file sharing.

The company has entered into a satellite connection and distribution agreement with Xantic BV, a joint venture between Telstra Australia and Dutch carrier KPN, which is one of the carriers for the Immorsat service.

Xantic also signed a memorandum of understanding last month with Pahth to co-brand and market the system through its international distributor network.

The product’s potential market includes United Nations peace keepers, isolated communities, mining companies and the military and emergency services.

One of the weather-proofed GVA units is priced at $39,000.

Pahth managing director Peter Hanley said his company had received interest from the UN.

“A unit is on the way to Dili in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

It also has received strong interest from the WA and Victorian health networks.

Mr Hanley said Pahth had retained its carrier licence but was not disappointed to be out of the reselling game.

“It’s a business that you have to throw a lot of money at,” he said.

“We needed between $5 million and $10 million to run it properly and the public wasn’t going to give us that.”

Mr Hanley said a couple of WA tuna fishermen had been responsible for the satellite unit’s development.

“They came to us trying to find out how they could sell their catch off the deck of their tuna boat while it was still at sea.

“They wanted to show their catch to buyers around the world. Sort of the fish that John West didn’t know about.”

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