NetGear Aiming To Be Home Network Hub


With NetGear officially spun off from parent Nortel, the company's executives want to expand NetGear's product line into home servers, Internet appliances and residential gateways.

Patrick Lo, president/CEO of NetGear -- which is now an independent subsidiary of Nortel -- said he will use the $15 million the company raised in financing to push out on three fronts: building brand recognition, expanding its retail presence, and delving into new products areas.

These moves, Lo believes, will help the company to become a prime supplier of consumer home-networking infrastructure products and not just another Ethernet card and data router manufacturer.

NetGear will ship a simple residential gateway device by the end of this year and what it has dubbed a media center computer server by 2001.

The server, which will cost less than an entry-level PC, will run a home network that will eventually consist of several PCs, various Internet appliances and home entertainment products. NetGear will obtain the server and gateway through OEM deals and not manufacture any product.

Lo said home networks requiring servers and gateways are still three years away when broadband Internet access is adopted by about 20 million U.S. households, but NetGear wants to have these products on the shelves well in advance as a brand-name builder. -- Doug Olenick


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