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Thursday, 17 November 2011 13:56

NetComm becomes NetComm Wireless


Shareholders of Australian communications equipment maker NetComm (ASX: NTC) have approved a change of name to NetComm Wireless to reflect the company's shift of focus away from fixed line and consumer communications technology to wireless equipment for telcos and the machine-to-machine market.

NetComm was founded in 1980 and in its early days dominated the Australian analogue modem market. In 1997 - by then an ASX listed company - it merged with its much younger rival, Banksia Technologies, founded by the current NetComm MD, David Stewart.

Chairman Terry Winters told shareholders at the company's AGM today: "Our focus for the past two years has been to build a strong foundation to support long term sustainable growth over the next 10 years. We have progressively refocused our resources and technologies away from consumer products and towards the supply of highly valued wireless broadband products to major telecommunication carriers and commercial and industrial customers."

He added: "Our diversification into broader geographical markets offshore remains on target with three new customer contracts being established this year for the supply of our wireless devices to: Cell C in South Africa; Mobily in the Middle East and; Videotron in Canada. Winning these new customers, and having a pipeline of further opportunities gives us more confidence that we are on the right track toward achieving the goals that we set for the company."

As part of its wireless-centric strategy, the company has significantly ramped up and refocussed its R&D, Winters said. "Over the past year our R&D capabilities and engineering resources were doubled'¦We have consolidated our resources to ensure a more specific focus on the development of advanced wireless technologies. We have brought a large amount of our development in-house to ensure NetComm retains clear ownership of all critical IP'¦and we are working to ensure we maintain our ability to be at the forefront of wireless developments releasing world first products."

Managing director David Stewart identified the company's relationship with key customer Telstra as a major contributor to its strategy.

"Telecommunications carriers worldwide keep a close eye on Telstra as a leader in network developments and world first product launches," he said. "Our close relationship with Telstra has helped strengthen NetComm's capabilities and exposed our brand across the world. Through this exposure we have been able to acquire new carrier relationships offshore allowing us to strategically diversify our customer base geographically, lessening our dependence on the Australian and New Zealand markets.

He added: "Winning the NBN contract has also had the beneficial effect of bringing NetComm to the attention of other potential customers worldwide, who are looking at implementing similar projects." (Earlier this year NetComm was named by Ericsson to supply the CPE for the TD-LTE network it is rolling out for NBN Co to extend the NBN to around four percent of the seven percent of premises that wil not be connected to the FTTH network).

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