D-Link inks supply agreement with SkyNetGlobal

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D-Link would be the exclusive supplier of networking hardware for SkyNetGlobal's multi-dwelling unit (MDU) sites across Asia-Pacific, following an agreement between the companies.

Under the agreement, SkyNetGlobal and its subsidiary W Home would use D-Link's broadband and wireless hardware in these MDUs -- specifically DSL modems, routers and wireless access points. There are currently 20 live W Home MDU sites -- buildings with over 60 units -- in Australia and a further 30 sites ready for deployment, the company said.

Previously, SkyNetGlobal was trialling a mish-mash of hardware suppliers for these units - the likes of Belkin, Netgear and BenQ. "We'd been picking and choosing from different suppliers," said Jean Morel, group GM, marketing alliances at SkyNetGlobal.

However, the quality of D-Link's technology was better than some of the cheaper suppliers, he said. "[D-Link] have a depth of technology that we can tap into which the cheaper [suppliers] don't have," Morel said.

He added that D-Link and SkyNetGlobal would also work together on product research and development.

Over the past three months, SkyNetGlobal had applied for three patents with IP Australia relating to "the distribution of broadband data through existing power lines," he said.

Morel couldn't put a figure on the number of D-Link products that would be required over the next 12 months, but said at any one time there are at least 100 customers waiting for the delivery of broadband services into their apartments.

W Home is also using Cisco's high-end networking equipment when required, Morel said. The company would purchase the D-Link gear through Tech Pacific.

Maurice Famularo, marketing director at D-Link Australia and New Zealand, said the contract is not restricted to W Home MDUs in Australia but across Asia-Pacific aswell.

He didn't expect demand to be "that strong" but tech-savvy apartment dwellers who want to be one-step ahead of others would take it up.

"Its one of those markets that continually growing all the time," he said.
The largest proportion of D-Link business here still comes from the ISP market, Famularo said. "But it's very low margin. The bulk of the dough is coming from broadband and wireless as well," he said.

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