Corona cuts roaming costs

01/07/2014 - 13:38


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When it comes to mobile roaming, there’s no place like home for Norwood Systems.

KEEP CALLING: Paul Ostergaard says Norwood’s Corona service can save busy executives big money on expensive roaming charges. Photo: Attila Csaszar

When it comes to mobile roaming, there’s no place like home for Norwood Systems.

Nedlands-based tech company Norwood Systems is gearing up for a major influx of staff to meet demand for its disruptive phone service, which reduces expensive mobile roaming rates.

This month, Norwood’s cloud services platform beat a number of IT developments – including the Rio Tinto 4G network it built in the Pilbara – to claim two prizes at the WA Information Technology and Telecommunications Alliance awards.

Norwood founder and chief executive Paul Ostergaard said the launch of its Corona service corporate roaming network access – earlier this year had attracted a large amount of subscribers.

“Off a fairly low base it’s grown by 520 per cent on a compounded monthly average from January to end of May,” Mr Ostergaard told Business News.

“We’ve had users now on six continents trying the service”

Mr Ostergaard said designing the platform so people could use their mobile phones as normal by seamlessly accessing its network, as well as being able to listen to office voicemails from their mobile, had been key to its success.

“They can behave as though they’re within their office regardless of where they are,” he said.

“Airtime has grown faster than the number of users we’ve added so (people) are using it more per month, which is really very encouraging from our point of view because that means it’s got stickiness; they’re enjoying using it.”

Norwood recently partnered with global IT and communications provider Progility to resell the service under its own branding, and is in negotiations with a major US reseller.

It is also exploring its options to raise funds, including through capital markets or securing venture capital.

“We plan to grow fairly vigorously over the next 12 months and we’re exploring various avenues to secure additional significant funding that allows us to grow that sales force in advance of revenues,” Mr Ostergaard said.

Norwood aims to develop its own sales team to eventually deliver 60 per cent of its sales, with resellers to make up 40 per cent.

“Over the next three or four years we’ll be in the hundreds of personnel,” Mr Ostergaard said.

He said while the company had not chosen where these people would be based, WA was a favourable option because of the availability of the quality staff it was looking for.

Norwood has already approached several Australian corporations directly to sell its service.

“(With) large banks or large engineering companies you can see their top 200 users are spending between $100 per month to $2,000 a month on voice roaming,” Mr Ostergaard said.

Using Corona allowed those businesses to get costs down to $45 a month.

“CEOs are going, ‘Well, that’s pretty interesting’, and for us we like it because it’s recurring revenue,” Mr Ostergaard said.


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