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NetComm tapping into NBN Fixed Wireless


The rollout of the fixed wireless portion of the National Broadband Network has been going at a pace that is leagues faster than originally anticipated. This is expected to bring in a great financial windfall for ASX-listed NetComm Wireless, an Australian wireless hardware maker that hopes to stay ahead in the game.

The company, once a leading provider of routers and modems to homes and businesses in Australia, has gone on the ride from dial-up to superfast broadband and has successfully kept up with the demands of each changing trend.

David Stewart, CEO of NetComm, said it was attitude that sustained the 32-year old company’s longevity. He said they are technology agnostic in their approach and this is what has allowed NetComm to move with changing trends.

NetComm has had a specific interest in how cellular technology has evolved, and being the exclusive wireless hardware supplier to Ericsson, which is NBN’s partner, the company’s finances are closely tied to the network.

The successes of NBN fixed wireless has translated into an increase in earnings for NetComm, with EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortisation) for fiscal year 2015 expected to increase from $5.2 million to $7 million, together with $73 million revenues.

Mr. Stewart also said that even if the NBN continues to be a controversial project, it is finally on the right track.

According to him, the new plan is much better as the original one was unrealistic. He believes they are finally catching up.

And despite his admission that the Coalition’s mandated MTM (Multi-Technology Mix) NBN model is not perfect, he believes it is still the best chance to give all Australians access to better broadband more efficiently.

The MTM approach is designed to service different areas using different technologies including FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises), FTTN (fibre-to-the-node), FTTB (fibre-to-the-basement), HFC (hybrid fibre-coaxial), FTTN (fibre-to-the-node) and a satellite element.

NetComm is likely to benefit from the move to an MTM model as it will look to possibly be the supplier of the necessary kits retail service providers will need in order to get involved in FTTN or FTTB.

Mr. Stewart further added that wireless technology will be able to deliver speeds which would only get faster and faster.

But the NBN is not the only thing NetComm is relying on to keep the momentum; the company’s success is expected to continue with the Industrial Revolution where the connective tissue of service delivery is M2M (machine-to-machine) communications.

Shifting to the M2M is happening at a faster rate for NetComm, especially as carrier networks influence wider coverage footprints and capacity. The dramatic drop in tariff rates has also played a huge role in allowing devices to be connected more cost-effectively.

He said the connected future is not about plugging in new devices to a network, but often, it is about pre-existing things that are being connected, just because it is more viable to connect them onto a network now.

NetComm would need to undertake a patient approach to make money from M2M, but for this true-blue Aussie company, patience is an enduring virtue.

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