BigAir ready to take on NBN

Fixed wireless provider confident it can grow in an FTTH world

Fixed wireless provider BigAir (ASX: BGL) has reported that it is well positioned to compete in a post-National Broadband Network (NBN) marketplace dominated by fibre-to-the-home fibre optic cable.

In an ASX statement BigAir chief executive, Jason Ashton, claimed investment in building out high speed fixed wireless broadband infrastructure servicing the major metropolitan markets now meant corporate customers viewed the company as a viable alternative to building their own fixed networks.

“We believe our network represents one of the few real high performance alternatives in the Australian marketplace to aging copper monopoly and we expect that global developments in wireless R&D will ensure that our fixed wireless networks can compete with all types of fixed infrastructure in a post National Broadband Network world,” Ashton said.

“We are determined to offer a robust alternative to traditional fixed networks and we are already seeing strong demand from enterprise customers implementing physically diverse networks. BigAir is very well positioned to service a post-NBN market.”

According to the company, its customers are already able to access 100 Mega bits per second (Mbps) or 1000Mbps service speeds as envisioned by the NBN Co.

In April, BigAir acquired Wizz communications and in the past year the company has invested $2.4 million of its own cash in new network infrastructure.

The company had also recently announced its acquisition of the assets and customer base of Unistar Enterprises. It also planned the rollout of additional network coverage in financial year 2011.

Ashton’s comments follow the release of the company’s full year to 30 June 2010 results, which saw record growth in on-net revenues help deliver a net profit after tax growth of 51 per cent to $1.5 million for the year.

The ASX-listed wholesale carriage provider also recorded fixed wireless revenue growth of 49 per cent to $7.5 million.

Earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was up 50 per cent to $3.2 million, while earnings per share was up 42 per cent to 1.7 cents.

Detailing the results, Ashton said the numbers were achieved through ongoing investment in the company’s fixed wireless broadband networks and expansion of its wholesale partner program from small, niche value added integrators specialising in cloud services to large multinational carriers such as NTT Australia and Pacnet.

In March, BigAir expressed its bullishness despite the then impending launch of Vividwireless.

In July, the company announced the signing of a deal to supply fixed wireless services to NTT Australia as part of the service provider's IP offering.

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