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7 February, 2006 - 14:37 By Staff Reporter

Asia and Africa opening up for broadband star

Cambridge Broadband may celebrate its first year of profitability under a new name as the company pushes forward with attempts to refocus strategy and forge a worldwide reputation in the field of cellular backhaul.Cambridge Broadband may celebrate its first year of profitability under a new name as the company pushes forward with attempts to refocus strategy and forge a worldwide reputation in the field of cellular backhaul.

The wireless broadband specialist is targeting profitability by 2007 with a major contribution from three important overseas contracts which are anticipated for completion this year.

The Cambridge firm recently installed Bjorn Krylander as chief executive officer to help steer its drive into global backhaul success, replacing the outgoing CEO and company co-founder, Peter Wharton.

Following his work at UbiNetics where he steered the 3G technology company to global renown and a lucrative acquisition by CSR,

Krylander will attempt to replicate his success at Cambridge Broadband.

Krylander said: “This is a real product company, not an IP firm. Real products and real manufacturing. It makes it a more complex role, but ultimately the rewards are greater.”

The company is currently working with Malaysian firm, Maxis, who is trialling the VectaStar fixed wireless transmission platform in its 2G and 3G cellular networks where it is being used to backhaul traffic from cellular base stations to its core network with a view to nationwide deployment.

Krylander (pictured) wants to continue in the same vein. He said: “We are targeting operators with the focus on relatively second tier companies so we can establish a strong reputation and work with quicker decision makers who have more flexibility.

“It is looking quite promising and we expect three cellular backhaul customers by the end of the year, one of which will be in Asia and one in Africa. Next year is a good target for profitability.”

The company’s growing focus on backhaul systems could also provide the catalyst for a change of name, though the decision is far from straightforward.

Krylander said: “The Cambridge name is enormously helpful because it is such a well known brand name.

“However we are targeting the transmission and cellular backhaul market, which to a certain extent has made it less relevant, so we would have to consider doing something about it.

“When we have spoken to customers they talk about the Cambridge “system” or the Cambridge “product“ when they want to distinguish it to others.

“At the same time there is a good level of equity built up with the existing name, which might not make the change worthwhile. It is a fine line so it is difficult to tell how to go.”

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