Dublin tech firm signs €20m deal with Australia’s biggest teleco

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Dublin technology company Cubic has landed a deal with Australian telecoms giant Telstra worth up to €20 million over the next four years bringing mobile connectivity to Volkswagen cars in Australia.

Barry Napier, the chief executive of the Sandyford-based company, said that it was a significant deal for Cubic given that Telstra is the biggest telecoms group in Australia and that ithe Irish firm’s technology could end up being used in as many as 200,000 cars in the country over a three-year period.

The tie-up was agreed in Melbourne and signed in the presence of President Michael D Higgins on Friday during the fifth official day of public engagements on his 19-day State visit to Australia.

Cubic has travelled with Mr Higgins as part of a trade mission organised by Enterprise Ireland, the largest delegation of companies to travel to Australia with the business-generating State agency.

The Irish company’s technology allows car manufacturers to update mapping and engine software with wireless upgrades that reduces visits to car dealerships for the customers of the car manufacturer.

“Being Telstra, for us it is a huge contract,” Mr Napier said, speaking to reporters at a business lunch hosted by Enterprise Ireland on Thursday.

“Telstra would have the biggest footprint with their satellite services as well so we can link into all of that. We believe that it is going to be a AUS$20 million (€13 million) to AUS$30 million (€20 million) contract over the next three to four years.”

Mr Napier said that the deal would bring overall revenues at the Dublin company to about €10 million this year and to more than €30 million over the next two years. Cubic has been working Telstra for the last two years, he said.

Telstra is one of the most technologically advanced companies. This year it tested the world’s first gigabit LTE mobile network that provides broadband speeds that are so fast that customers could download an hour-long high definition TV show on their phone in less than 20 seconds.

“They are very fast in relation to their technology,” said Mr Napier. “They are a big engineering company so when a start-up like us comes along we have to cut our mustard with them, show them under the hood, show them that we are very, very capable.”

Cubic raised €40 million in an investment round during the summer, bringing in the Irish State as an investor through the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund, the €8 billion fund managed by the National Treasury Management Agency. Other shareholders include chip maker Qualcomm and Volkswagen.

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