NetComm pursues new route with NEC

After 10 months in the works, communications hardware vendor, NetComm, has officially announced its R&D partnership with NEC division Nextep.

The relationship saw NEC provide funding to NetComm to develop an ADSL integrated device capable of virtual local area network bridging and routing for its tier one and two networks.

NetComm general manager, Michael Boorne, said the company had waited until the development of the product was complete before announcing the agreement.

“Until you’ve got the development done, you can never be sure of how the thing will turn out,” he said.

The deal was significant for NetComm because it provided the company with both a major customer base and revenue stream, Boone said.

NetComm would continue to move down the development path with NEC to exploit other opportunities like SHDSL and VoIP.

Despite the potential to move into the corporate space with the newly developed technology, it was unlikely NetComm would supply the product to other customers.

International markets for the technology were a possibility, Boone said, but NetComm was treating the new business as an add-on, for the time being.

“We like this kind of business where we can use our know-how and on the ground development to do things that go outside the box moving area,” Boone said.

NetComm was also growing its relationships with consumer level ISPs, he said, by developing a product, similar to pre-paid mobiles, which allowed a service provider to network-lock a DSL modem.

“ISPs want to give away hardware to lock a customer in and reduce customer churn,” Boone said. “That will then translate to the ISP being able to offer a customer a better deal in the first place because they know a very high percentage of customers will remain with them.”

NetComm was also pursuing opportunities in the corporate wireless hot-spot market, he said.

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