SkyNet, Hotspot Global Roam

SkyNetGlobal and Hotspot Global team to create common platform for WiFi roaming; SkyNetGlobal to acquire Star-Tech Communications

October 2, 2003

6 Min Read

SYDNEY -- SkyNetGlobal (ASX:SKG), a leading provider of wireless broadband solutions, today announced that it has formed a strategic alliance with Hotspot Global, Australia’s No.1 clearinghouse for wireless internet networks, to promote common business interests in the public WLAN industry by working together to create a common platform for WiFi Roaming.

Both companies will also combine efforts to further develop the Hotspot Global advance clearing house software combined with SkyNetGlobal’s IXM software to allow next generation WiFi enabled mobile phones to operate at public wireless hotspots. WiFi has significant cost and speed advantages over emerging 3G mobile phone technology.

Queensland based, Hotspot Global is Australia’s first clearinghouse for wireless Internet networks and has developed an advanced billing, settlement and clearing house that allows public hotspot owners to share in the revenues of multiple WiFi service providers whilst providing WiFi users with a common user friendly experience at any member hotspot site. Importantly, the Hotspot Global clearing house also provides a single bill for users no matter which member location they visit.

The proliferation of Wi-Fi hotspot networks worldwide, provided by wireless infrastructure providers, service providers and mobile operators, have created the necessity for a global clearing house capability to support roaming across these disparate networks, thereby allowing the industry to achieve critical mass.

Hotspot Global does not operate wireless Internet hotspots nor does it have its own subscriber base. Its role is to “Enable Seamless Global Roaming for Mobile Internet Users across any Hotspot Global Member Network”. Hotpot Global’s clearinghouse model means that members do not have to engage in, and manage, a multitude of bilateral agreements with other service providers

Frost & Sullivan, a leading growth consulting company, predicts that the number of wireless hotspot users in Australian will reach 2.068 million in 2008, achieving annual compound growth rates of 130% per annum, and that Australian wireless hotspot revenues will grow at an annual compound rate of 95% reaching $273 million in 2008.

The SkyNetGlobal/Hotspot Global strategic alliance also involves a multilateral global roaming arrangement which will allow SkyNetGlobal subscribers access to all Hotspot Global’s public hotspots on Australia’s east coast and throughout Asia.

Hotspot Global has exclusive WiFi rights for the upcoming Lexmark Indy 300 Car race on the Gold Coast in late October. The entire official area will be a temporary Wireless Hotspot that will facilitate Internet access for the general public access as well as journalists filing stories, and sending and receiving emails from anywhere in the official race precinct, including the pits, media centre and official functions function areas.

SkyNetGlobal CEO Jonathon Soon said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with an Australian company with a powerful vision and complimentary specialists skills in the WiFi industry. Hotspot Global enjoys an outstanding reputation for its best of breed WiFi clearing house technology.”

“While Hotspot Global’s existing contracts add immediate value for our subscribers we’re thrilled to be a part of their growth through major announcements to be made in the coming weeks.”

“They are also a good fit because Queensland was our weakest state in terms of hotspot coverage, so gaining access to projects like the Queensland Government’s WiFi deployment solves some immediate needs”, said Mr Soon.

Hotspot Global’s Director of Strategic Alliances, David Horovitz said, “SkyNetGlobal was the brave first visionary into the WiFi market in Australia and is the leader in their field. We are confident that the synergy between the two companies will significantly advance the growth of both companies and will set a new standard for global WiFi roaming and strategic partnerships. We are delighted to be working with SkyNetGlobal and to share the vision of SkyNetGlobal’s CEO Jonathan Soon.”

In a separate release:

SkyNetGlobal (ASX:SKG), a leading provider of wireless broadband solutions, today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Star-Tech Communications, Australia’s most experienced and established wireless network specialist, paving the way for SkyNetGlobal to become a leading player in Australia’s $100 million wireless network systems integration market.

Established in 1990, Sydney based Star-Tech Communications currently employs 18 people and has designed and installed its wireless network solutions across multiple vertical markets with specialised skills in wireless point to point WANs (Wide Area Networks),structured cabling systems, network design and maintenance. Star-Tech installed the world’s first unlicensed 2.4 Ghz wireless WAN link at the Sydney Powerhouse Museum in 1993.

Star-Tech has built a significant customer base over the last 14 years, and has established itself as the leading wireless network systems integrator in the corporate, government and public sectors. Currently Star-Tech’ wireless network system has been installed at more than 130 sites across New South Wales and includes the following:

  • IBM

  • University of NSW

  • Ernst & Young

  • University of Wollongong

  • Harvey Norman

  • Mid Western Area Health Service

  • Prince of Wales Hospital

  • South Eastern Area Health Service

  • Attorney General’s Department

  • Northern Sydney Area Heath Service

  • NSW Parliament House

  • 6 Local Government Councils

Star-Tech has been trading profitable for many years and has an impressive financial track record, with annual revenues growing at an average rate of 30% over the last 3 Financial Years. Star-Tech achieved total revenues of $2.6 million in FY2003 and expects to increase this amount by 46% to $3.8 million and deliver net profits of $500,000 for the FY2004.

SkyNetGlobal CEO Mr Jonathan Soon said: “The acquisition of Star-Tech is a significant milestone towards realising our strategy of moving into the business market for WLAN. Star-Tech’s proven track record and leading position in the WLAN systems integration market, combined with our public WLAN and W Home businesses, will well and truly position SkyNetGlobal at the forefront of wireless communications in all of the markets where we compete.”

Star-Tech Managing Director Richard Parker said: “Star-Tech Communications share SkyNetGlobal’s vision and is delighted with the strategic partnership; the merging of both companies will allow us to achieve better pricing power, an increased client base and will add significant value to our current product offering. The synergy between the companies will allow for a smooth transition with increased revenue streams expected quickly.”

Under the business purchase agreement, SkyNetGlobal will acquire the Star-Tech business which comprises of goodwill, intellectual property, employees, customers, suppliers, inventory, plant & equipment, 24x7 technical support centre and a fleet of service motor vehicles, for a total consideration of $1.5 million comprising of $400,000 payable in cash on completion and $1.1 million payable in SkyNetGlobal ordinary shares, to be issued no later than 31st August 2004 subject to Star-Tech achieving its FY2004 net profit forecast of $500,000.

Completion of the transaction is expected to take place on 31st November 2003 and is conditional on SkyNetGlobal raising $5 million under its planned Public Offer prospectus unless such condition is waived by SkyNetGlobal.

SkyNetGlobal Ltd.

Hotspot Global

Star-Tech Communications

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry.
Join 62,000+ members. Yes it's completely free.

You May Also Like