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NetComm sees in excess of $2 million in additional revenue from local hotspot market

  • 27 May, 2004 14:02

<p>SYDNEY, May 27, 2004 – Broadband specialists NetComm today announced that it has grown the number of wireless Internet hotspots in Australia by almost 40 percent since entering the market in February this year.</p>
<p>NetComm’s HS800 ‘Hotspot-In-A-Box-Solution’ enables any organisation to provide and charge for wireless Internet while, for users, it provides a welcome alternative to the complex credit card registrations used by most wireless carriers.</p>
<p>According to analyst group IDC, Australian wireless carriers had established a total of 380 primary commercial wireless locations as of the end of Q1 2004. Since then, more than 150 NetComm hotspot solutions have been sold in Australia, raising the potential number of hotspot cells to around 530.</p>
<p>“We expect that our hotspot solutions will generate in excess of $2 million in additional revenue over the next 12 months, while we believe that sales of ancillary products such as modems and devices for wireless connectivity will also increase markedly,” said NetComm managing director David Stewart.</p>
<p>In contrast, wireless operators have reportedly struggled to generate returns with cumbersome billing and authentication systems among the key inhibitors.</p>
<p>Sensing the market opportunity, NetComm launched in February this year a solution enabling any business to provide and bill its customers for wireless Internet access via an existing, fixed, high-speed connection, such as ADSL.</p>
<p>Unlike with carrier-provided services that require users to register details such as their credit card with a service provider, the HS800 requires only that customers have a wireless enabled device such as a Centrino laptop while all authentication and payment details are processed immediately at the point of sale.</p>
<p>Via the HS800, users can browse the web, access corporate applications or send email at speeds of up to 11Mbps from anywhere within range of the product’s access point. The HS800 also allows hotspot providers to fully customise their billing systems, for instance to pre-set access charges and keep track of network usage.</p>
<p>Further, wireless users connected via the NetComm solution are typically charged less than customers of actual wireless service providers who can pay anything up to $15 per hour in Sydney and Melbourne.</p>
<p>“We expect to see strong demand for our hotspot solution over the coming months, largely because of its simplicity both for providers of the service and their customers,” Mr Stewart said, adding: “The ability of companies to provide affordable wireless Internet is an important market differentiator in any industry.”</p>
<p>The HS800 has enjoyed particular success throughout the hospitality, education and convention centre sectors in Australia. NetComm will announce in the coming weeks a new solution, which allows organisations such as large hotels, banks and other institutions to provide, manage and bill for wireless Internet access to several hundred users at a time.</p>
<p>About NetComm</p>
<p>NetComm is Australia’s leading provider of broadband solutions with a commanding position across the key markets of DSL, wireless, routing, high-speed networking and digital surveillance systems. The company is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX: NTC). For specific enquiries or to arrange an interview with David Stewart or one of our engineers, contact David Binning: (02) 9424 2515, 0410 644 972, davidb@netcomm.com.au. Alternatively, visit www.netcomm.com.au.</p>

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