Bandspeed picks Melbourne for R&D base

Bandspeed will invest $10.5 million on R&D activities over the next two years in its recently opened R&D centre in Melbourne, and will double its number of R&D staff to 40 by the end of the year.

Incorporated in 1998, US-based Bandspeed develops integrated circuits or chipsets for broadband communication systems.

The $10.5 million investment will fund research into ADSL, VDSL, Bluetooth, G.Lite, wireless LANs and other technologies, according to Dr Stan Skafidas, Bandspeed's co-founder and vice president of engineering.

It has recently completed ADSL and G.Lite chipsets that increase the bandwidth and reliability of existing copper and cable networks. These technologies will enable telecommunication and data communication service providers and carriers to increase the reach and reliability of their networks, said Michael Luther, CEO and director of Bandspeed.

Although Bandspeed currently sells to the US and Europe, its R&D activities are carried out entirely in Melbourne. "Melbourne has the talent we need; the universities here have produced people who are skilled in communication and signal processing technologies," said Skafidas.

John Brumby, the Victorian Minister for State and Regional Development, who opened the R&D centre, said that the investment made by Bandspeed in its R&D activities in Melbourne "sends a clear message to our top graduates -- you do not have to move to Silicon Valley to work on leading-edge projects, they are here in Victoria".

Bandspeed sells to large network equipment vendors, which use its integrated circuits in their networking solutions for service providers and carriers. The company is not currently selling in Australia because ADSL is still a very new technology here, and is more widely used in the US and Europe, said Skafidas. Also, most large network equipment vendors are based in the US and Europe.

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