Melbourne-based wireless broadband ISP Access Providers has bought a business internet provider, Online 2000, for an undisclosed sum.
Keith Ondarchie, chief executive officer at Access Providers, said the company wanted to buy a business-focused ISP to boost its own national coverage and business-focused wireless broadband services.
"[Online 2000] has in excess of 400 business customers. Probably about 25 percent of those customers can start on our network and it [also] gives us a lot of LAN-type skills and on-site customer skills," he said.
The Online 2000 acquisition was funded by a combination of share capital and cash.
Ondarchie said the move to acquire Online 2000 might help Access Providers' government customers most and to develop its service offerings, which have been based on the proposed 802.16 – or WiMAX -- standard.
Ravi Bhatia, chairman at Access Providers, said the benefits would be shared with Access Providers' channel partners.
The company was doing a lot more marketing and planned to aggressively build itself up via organic growth and acquisitions, Bhatia said.
"We've maintained a low profile [until now], just developing our business and customers and so on," Bhatia said.
Ondarchie said Access Providers, which launched commercially in 2003, has its own carrier-grade fixed wireless broadband network covering Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney targeting mainly SMBs. Its first month of profit was August last year.
"We have a network-sharing agreement with Jason [Ashton] of BigAir," Ondarchie said.
Healthcare, hospitals, manufacturing and transport were some of its main verticals, he said.
Voice-over-wireless broadband services would be launched later this month, Access Providers said in a statement.
"We started in Melbourne, and we've covered virtually all of Melbourne, about 40 or 50 percent of Brisbane, 60 percent of Adelaide, and about 35 percent of Sydney," he said. "We're trying to provide a choice, other than Telstra, of broadband services."
Access Providers would retain the Online 2000 brand and operate its acquisition as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Existing products would still be marketed and supported and all staff kept on, the company statement said.