Fortress Solutions expands into cable equipment repair

Fortress Solutions said it has deals with two Tier 1 cable MSOs and one smaller cable operator that have signed the company to repair cable headend equipment, and added that it may expand into the set-top repair business.

"The company has three active cable customers, and it's obviously an area that we want to get more into," Fortress CEO Brendon Mills told FierceCable Monday. Mills wouldn't name the company's cable customers, citing nondisclosure agreements.

Mills is a former CEO of Genband and RipCode who led the acquisition of Plano, Texas-based Fortress by Galatyn Private Equity and Vspeed Capital in August. He was a managing partner at Vspeed before joining Fortress.

Mills said Fortress repairs cable headend equipment for operators who use its services after their manufacturer warranties for products such as Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Motorola routers and encoders expire. It has also started repairing cable modem termination systems and is looking at expanding into repairing cable set-tops and other customer premise equipment, Mills said. "We've been looking at it heavily. That is a very contested market," he added.

Fortress also repairs equipment for telcos and other telecom providers. In the cable sector, it competes primarily against Communications Test Design Inc. (CDTI), which repairs gear for Cox Communications and other MSOs. If it expands into refurbishing cable set-tops, it could challenge providers such as Contec, which repairs gear for MSOs such as Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Charter Communications (Nasdaq: CHTR).

Fortress is also expanding its management team. On Monday, it named former ATEME, Bivio Networks and Tandberg Television executive Andy Lovit senior VP of global field operations. It also named former AT&T (NYSE: T) and Huawei Technologies executive David Deas VP of business development.

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