Netgear expands its footprint in Asia through a distribution agreement with Softbank

December 5, 2003

3 Min Read

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- NETGEAR, Inc., a worldwide provider of technologically advanced, branded networking products, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with SOFTBANK BB Corp. (SBB), one of Japan's largest broadband communications carriers and IT distributors, for the exclusive distribution of NETGEAR's products in Japan. The appointment of SBB will increase NETGEAR's brand and product awareness for both business and consumer product lines in Asia's foremost market.

"We are delighted to have a partner in Japan as prestigious and qualified as SBB as we look to accelerate NETGEAR's growth in Asia," said Patrick Lo, chairman and chief executive officer of NETGEAR. "We currently derive about ten percent of our revenue from the Asia-Pacific region, but due to the faster roll-out of last-mile broadband networks in Japan, and the consumers' fascination with all things wireless, we see the country as offering us very attractive growth potential. While we have sold our business-class product line in Japan for several years, we now see the market as ripe for our award-winning wireless consumer product line."

The appointment of SBB for the Japanese market continues NETGEAR's success in partnering with market leaders on a global basis to distribute the company's products. NETGEAR is generally the number one or two provider of networking product segments to small and medium businesses and homes on a global basis.

NETGEAR's new relationship with SBB is a key component in the company's strategic expansion into the consumer market in Japan, where it already enjoys success with its networking products aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. SBB will distribute NETGEAR products through a network of resellers, including retail stores and systems integrators. To further underscore its new emphasis on the market, NETGEAR is expanding its personnel in the NETGEAR Japan offices, is offering an improved and expanded menu of services, and is increasing its marketing activities in the country.

Said Naoki Hayashida, country manager for NETGEAR Japan, "SBB is a household name in Japan, due to its pioneering position in broadband services, so NETGEAR's association with the company should greatly burnish our reputation. We look upon this relationship as a great opportunity to materially expand NETGEAR's consumer business in Japan to match the success we've had with our networking products for small and medium-sized businesses." Mr. Hayashida, former country manager for Polycom Japan, recently joined NETGEAR to spearhead the company's local expansion.

SBB launched "Yahoo! BB" jointly with Yahoo Japan Corporation in June 2001 to provide low-cost broadband services, such as high-speed data and video, to the Japanese market, and now has approximately 3.9 million ADSL subscribers. In April 2002, SBB introduced its broadband voice services, "BB Phone," and has more than 3 million telephone customers to date. It has also offered IT- related distribution services for more than 20 years.

"We are so pleased to be able to assist NETGEAR as it moves into the center spotlight in Japan," said Ken Miyauchi, executive vice president of SOFTBANK BB Corp. "NETGEAR has a well deserved reputation for developing high-quality networking products that are extremely easy to use, so they're sure to strike a cord within the retail market. And in Japan, where people are famously addicted to fashionable consumer products, we think that NETGEAR's stylish products will become a must-have for trendsetters. We're honored that NETGEAR has chosen SBB as its sole distributor in Japan."

Netgear Inc.


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