Jonathan Wu

Di­rec­tor of Prod­uct Man­age­ment, Emerg­ing Mar­kets, Re­tail Busi­ness Unit, Net­gear Inc.

HWM (Singapore) - - Think - BY HUR­RAIRAH BIN SO­HAIL

What are some of the trends you have ob­served in the net­work­ing sphere for ma­ture mar­kets? If you look at a ma­ture coun­try in Europe or the US, broad­band pen­e­tra­tion rate is re­ally high. It is prob­a­bly over 60 per cent to 70 per cent al­ready. Th­ese num­bers in­clude fixed line and wire­less. For th­ese ma­ture coun­tries, what we have seen is cus­tomers re­ally tak­ing ad­van­tage of the router and re­ally look­ing at it as the cen­tral gate­way of ev­ery­thing con­nected at home.

In a ma­ture coun­try from a chan­nel stand­point, the truth is that the cat­e­gory is very sat­u­rated. A lot of peo­ple have broad­band con­nec­tions and they have routers. We are see­ing more and more of new sales be­com­ing up­grades. It is not the first time peo­ple are buy­ing routers. They want to buy a router to en­able more ap­pli­ca­tions. What is Net­gear’s strat­egy to tackle net­work­ing in emerg­ing mar­kets? We are see­ing in­cred­i­ble growth in emerg­ing mar­kets such as Rus­sia, China, Brazil, In­done­sia and In­dia. Ev­ery­one needs some way of get­ting on to the in­ter­net but the broad­band pen­e­tra­tion rate in such coun­tries is low. So the op­por­tu­nity for Net­gear is not only to fo­cus on fixed line, but to branch out as well.

For many of th­ese coun­tries the in­fra­struc­ture the cost for lay­ing out fixed line ver­sus the mo­bile op­tion is about the same. In fact peo­ple pre­fer the mo­bile op­tion be­cause it has greater ge­o­graph­i­cal reach. So un­like the ma­ture coun­try where we fo­cus our prod­ucts on fixed line routers and gate­ways, in th­ese emerg­ing coun­tries we are fo­cus­ing more on the mo­bile broad­band con­nec­tion.

The prod­uct port­fo­lio is a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ent, but Net­gear is still the same com­pany. We fo­cus on three things. Firstly, cham­pi­oning con­nec­tiv­ity, fo­cus­ing on con­nect­ing peo­ple to the in­ter­net. Se­condly, we make it sim­ple for the cus­tomers. So when we de­velop a prod­uct we make sure it is sim­ple to in­stall and sim­ple to pur­chase. And lastly is our fo­cus on peo­ple. We try to de­velop the best prod­uct in­ter­nally and try our best to lo­cal­ize it to best ad­dress the cus­tomer needs for each re­gion. Over the last year we have seen the 802.11ac stan­dard make a mark on the net­work­ing mar­ket. What has driven its huge adop­tion? There are mul­ti­ple rea­sons for the fast adop­tion of 802.11ac. One is def­i­nitely the in­crease of broad­band band­width in the ma­ture coun­tries ex­em­pli­fied by the move to fiber and the fact that in­ter­net ser­vice providers in the ma­ture coun­tries are try­ing to in­crease their av­er­age rev­enue per user by of­fer­ing pre­mium con­tent. To be able to of­fer con­tent is one thing but to be able to en­joy the con­tent with the best ex­pe­ri­ence is another thing. So peo­ple have the op­tion of sign­ing up to pre­mium ser­vices but they also need to up­grade their ser­vices, their prod­ucts and their hard­ware at home to be able to en­joy th­ese ser­vices. This is what is driv­ing the adop­tion of 802.11ac. What are some of the new prod­ucts from Net­gear con­sumers can ex­pect in the com­ing months? For ma­ture mar­kets we have got to con­tinue to ride the wave of 802.11ac adop­tion by cus­tomers. If you look at mo­bile prod­ucts for next year a lot of them will have 802.11ac chipsets. Ap­ple just an­nounced a new line of iMac com­put­ers that have 802.11ac built in. So slowly you are go­ing to see more client de­vices with 802.11ac en­abled from the get go. 802.11ac is go­ing to be mas­sively avail­able from the bot­tom half of next year. We are go­ing to con­tinue to in­vest in 802.11ac tech­nol­ogy from both ends.

The mid­dle part of next year we will have the 4x4 ac prod­uct line. We will con­tinue to in­vest on speed and make sure peo­ple have faster in­home dis­tri­bu­tion. But from a fea­ture stand­point we will also con­tinue to in­vest in some soft­ware tech­nolo­gies such as desk­top ap­pli­ca­tions and also mo­bile apps.

For the emerg­ing mar­kets, we are go­ing to fo­cus more on the 3G and 4G mo­bile broad­band tech­nolo­gies. Not only just ‘3G or 4G sticks’ but per­haps some of the wire­less hotspot prod­ucts as well. Maybe we will in­tro­duce routers and gate­way prod­ucts where you can in­put the SIM card and con­vert it to a 4G or 3G router.

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