3Com vows push on 56K in Australasia

Confident of user demand for analog modems remaining healthy, 3Com is set to embark on an aggressive new strategy to boost its V.90 56Kbit/s modem shipments. The company's Australian arm last week announced it is banking its strategy on price reductions of up to 11% and its biggest ever marketing and advertising blitz. 3Com's stated objective is to boost market share in the A$120 to A$140 million local modem market from 'less than 5%' currently to more than 30%.

Confident of user demand for analog modems remaining healthy, 3Com is set to embark on an aggressive new strategy to boost its V.90 56Kbit/s modem shipments.

The company's Australian arm last week announced it is banking its strategy on price reductions of up to 11% and its biggest ever marketing and advertising blitz. 3Com's stated objective is to boost market share in the $A120 to $A140 million local modem market from "less than 5%" currently to more than 30%.

3Com is also keen to knock modem market leader Sirius, with its market share levels here now around the 50 percent mark, off its lofty perch.

And while Gerhard Rumpff, 3Com's executive managing director, Australia and New Zealand, admits 3Com has "missed the boat" in modem shipments to date, he claims the new strategy will not shift its focus from other networking activities. "We are still heavily involved in enterprise networking," he said.

As such, Rumpff suggested the company will make a number of significant networking announcements in coming months.

In the modem sphere, 3Com officials said its research predicts the market should grow to $A200 million by 2002.

The prospect of recent Australian currency fluctuations affecting profits from its new pricing strategy did not appear to trouble 3Com executives. "We've been planning this announcement for months," Rumpff said, indicating any currency changes would be "incorporated" into 3Com's plans.

Rumpff also dismissed questions about modem users' ability to achieve 56Kbps across the Internet, claiming significant market demand exists for the product. "There is a lot of life in analog modems as the market moves to 56Kbps," he said. "Our anecdotal evidence is that users are getting those speeds. We expect solid migration to V.90, which gives us an opportunity to gain improved market share," Rumpff added.

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