RealTime IT News


Making broadband a reality has been no easy task. The various solutions - cable, DSL, and so on - all have limitations. Yet, broadband is definitely the future of the Net.

Another broadband option is fixed wireless. As the name implies, the technology uses wireless communications systems to pump Internet access to businesses and homes. The technology offers reduced costs, security and resistance to fading. What's more, the installation of fixed wireless systems is not onerous.

One of the players in the fixed wireless world is SPEEDCOM . Founded seven years ago, the company is now a provider of broadband fixed wireless products for ISPs and Telco operators. Connectivity can be at speeds up to 100 Mbps and distances of more than 25 miles.

However, a big problem with fixed wireless is "line-of-site." In other words, obstructions can interfere with the transmissions. Well, SPEEDCOM has a solution, as it recently entered an agreement with SRI International to license PacketHop technology. Basically, it is software that routes transmissions to avoid line-of-sight complications. The deal lasts for six years and is exclusive.

Actually, SPEEDCOM is the result of a reverse merger, which was completed recently. The privately held SPEEDCOM merged into a shell company called LTI Holdings, a stock trading on the over-the-counter bulletin board market. The result is a company with about 8 million shares outstanding and a 2.9 million share float.

The company is showing a nice growth rate. In the past six months, revenues were $4 million, which is about a 99% increase from the same period a year ago. Net losses are moderate: $679,000.

The company has filed to list on the Nasdaq SmallCap Market. No doubt, this will provide much more liquidity to the stock and also help with mergers and acquisitions.

Moreover, SPEEDCOM has been able to attract top talent. For example, Bruce Sanguinetti joined the company in September as President. He was the co-founder of BreezeCOM (BRZE), which is a top player in the fixed wireless marketplace.

From a valuation standpoint, SPEEDCOM looks attractive. "Looking at the comparables," says Jay Wright, CFO, "fixed-wireless companies are selling at 17 times sales. We are selling about half that." And, when the company launches its new products in the first half of next year - with the PacketHop technology - SPEEDCOM will likely see its growth rate juice-up.