SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 27 -- The Multi-Tenant Unit (MTU) market including apartment buildings, office complexes, hotels and public buildings is a prime opportunity for broadband service providers and equipment vendors, according to Cahners In-Stat Group. MTU broadband service and equipment sales will jump from $3.4 billion in 2000 to $8.5 billion in 2005, the high-tech market research firm forecasts. "Although about a dozen niche players have carved out territory in the MTU broadband service arena, giants such as AT&T, Sprint, Qwest and Verizon are now giving the market more attention. Vendors have responded to increased interest by providers with new products targeted at the MTU market." Said Amy Helland, Industry Analyst with In-Stat's Voice and Data Communications Service. Service providers roll out broadband to MTUs by establishing mini points of presence (Mini-POPs) in buildings. Mini-POPs are smaller-scale versions of the aggregation devices that sit in telecom provider's central offices. In early 2001, the MTU broadband market hit the brakes due to a tightening in capital funding. "Despite the slowdown, vendors are expanding the range of products available and service providers are preparing to roll out value-added offerings such as voice, video and application services," said Helland. "As broadband connectivity becomes a commodity, these services will be vital to providers' success."