NASCO snaps up Netgear rights

Saudi distribution giant NASCO has snapped up exclusive rights to Netgear’s range of wired and wireless networking products in 12 countries across the Middle East. The deal brings Netgear and archrival Linksys head-to-head once again in a race to build channels and grab market share.

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By  Alex Malouf Published  January 25, 2005

Saudi distribution giant NASCO has snapped up exclusive rights to Netgear’s range of wired and wireless networking products in 12 countries across the Middle East. The deal brings Netgear and archrival Linksys head-to-head once again in a race to build channels and grab market share. “Netgear is a well-known name in the US and Europe, with a substantial share of the market,” explained Mohammed Farahneh, sales manager at NASCO. “Our goal is to replicate that success in the Middle East and heavily push Netgear’s whole product range covering both the small office home office (SOHO) and small to medium business (SMB) segments.” Farahneh claims that the region’s service providers have already shown interest in bundling Netgear products. “We are very optimistic about this market, particularly in the SOHO and SMB sectors, where there is a real demand for wireless kits.” “Netgear is a pioneer in both the SOHO and SMB markets, it is number one in the unmanaged switches segment and number two in gateways. Competitors in the market, most notably Linksys, have only just woken up to the possibilities in the mid-market, but Netgear has been active across the board for some time,” claimed Farahneh. NASCO’s immediate priority is to build up a channel network. With exclusive distribution rights for 12 countries — including the GGC, Levant, Egypt and Iraq — NASCO has its work cut out, but Farahneh is confident that resellers will flock to Netgear. “The quality of these products is assured, and we are also offering free installation on Netgear products. These solutions, both wired and wireless, are innovative and ideal for concepts such as the digital home. With the amazing growth in the SOHO and SMB sector we are confident that we will take significant market share from vendors already in this market.” The heavyweights of the wireless vendor space are poised to go head-to-head in the Middle East during 2005 as Netgear renews its worldwide rivalry with Linksys once again. It is a battle that other regions have already witnessed. Peter Hulleman, senior analyst at IDC explained: “Netgear is strong in Western Europe in the SOHO segment. In the US both vendors competed fiercely and Linksys came out on top. In Europe it is the other way around; Netgear were first here and had its channel up and running earlier.” Channel strategy will play a pivotal role in determining whether Linksys or Netgear come out on top in the fast growing Middle East market for wireless networking kit.

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