TeraGo continues expansion across country

Fixed wireless broadband provider TeraGo Networks continues to expand across the country, saying it is now offering service to businesses in 40 communities across the country.

The latest markets are Surrey and Burnaby, B.C., the Toronto suburb of Aurora, Ont., and the Montreal suburbs of Laval East and Longueuil, Que. More will come in the next two years, according to CEO Bryan Boyd, who won’t say where service will go next.

He did, however, allow that expansion to the Maritimes will come in 2008, and that TeraGo still sees opportunities in areas around Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

“We’re in rapid-build mode,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

This year “it’s all about continued growth both in terms of top line revenues and additional customers.” That growth will be fueled in part with money raised the company’s initial public offering last June. At that time Thornhill, Ont.-based TeraGo offered service in 31 cities in five provinces – B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

“We’ll expand our offerings,” he added, from the current VLAN and high speed Internet access, “but not in the immediate future.

Founded in 1999, the company targets suburban areas with business clusters where wired providers aren’t offering DSL or cable yet. Owning 70 frequency licenses in the 24 and 38 GHz bands, it offers four services with speeds of up to 100Mbps. It also sells a SIP trunking service combining voice and data traffic in Calgary and the Toronto area.

Competition among wireless internet service providers (WISPs) is intense. Competitors range from local companies such as Craig Wireless of Winnipeg and Vancouver; RipNET, which sells DSL and fixed broadband in the Brockville-Kingston, Ont., area; and ABC Communications, which covers central B.C.

For all its expansion, TeraGo isn’t profitable yet. In the quarter ending Sept. 30, the company said it had a net loss of $1.4 million on revenue of $6.5 million.

Boyd wouldn’t say if the company will be profitable this year because it doesn’t give forward-looking guidance.

Although news reports worry that the troubled U.S. economy may slow growth here, Boyd said so far he sees no signs yet of a slowdown in business demand for TeraGo’s services.