A not-so-lonely wireless planet

Sydney-based wireless networking company SkyNetGlobal has turned its back on the ASX and launched an unlisted prospectus to raise $5.6 million.

The private company plans to offer the public 20 million $0.28 unlisted shares to raise the funds needed to complete the rollout of its wireless broadband network in the Asia-Pacific region. The cash will also go towards marketing the company's network which is designed to allow business travellers access to corporate networks, email and the internet through laptop computers and other mobile devices. SkyNetGlobal plans to launch the service in August.

SkyNetGlobal's president and CEO, Jonathan Soon, said the company was aiming to attract travellers who in total take more than 25 million business trips a year. He said SkyNetGlobal planned to install its network in 300 hotels, airport lounges and convention centres in 100 cities worldwide. He said the company had completed about 75 per cent of its Asia-Pacific rollout.

Soon also said the company had finalised a deal with its US-based counterpart, MobileStar, which has its broadband wireless network set up in 54 airports and 250 hotels across the US. The deals means subscribers to either service will be able to access both networks.

SkyNetGlobal has been "inundated" with investors willing to put their money into the company, soon said. However, Corporations Law restrictions meant that it was unable to accept further investments without a prospectus.

Soon denied suggestions the company was steering clear of the ASX because of the battering tech stocks had been taking over the last couple of weeks. He claimed the unlisted offer will allow the company to better focus on its "core" strategy of rolling out its network and building a subscriber base.

The company has not yet ruled out an ASX listing, and is also looking among Fortune 500 companies for corner-stone investors, and to establish strategic partnerships.

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