San Diego based-Nuera Communications is hoping its leading-edge voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP) technology will soon see it break out of the pack. VoIP technology pushes packets or packages of sound over wire pipelines and wireless communications devices. 'Our coming-out will all happen in the next 12 months,' said Nuera chief executive William Ingram, visiting the company's Asian headquarters in Hong Kong to rally the troops. The company, which sold US$30-million worth of equipment in the financial year ended March 31, has received US$80 million in private capital from big-name partners such as AT&T, Motorola and General Electric. By the end of next March it plans to be selling products to big telecommunications companies. 'We hope to have five to 10 major carrier-wins,' Mr Ingram said. The chief executive, one of Nuera's founding employees, is working at finding customers in the Asia-Pacific region for its products, which include a fixed wireless antenna which allows voices to travel with the help of wireless devices. Mr Ingram said that by Christmas, 'we need to have three major carrier trials in place', in the Asia-Pacific region. The company's major competitors are the Nasdaq-listed Clarent and Sonus Networks, he said. Of the three companies, only Nuera is privately held. Mr Ingram confessed that he was 'conservative' and wanted to wait for the right time to take the three-year-old company into the publicly traded arena. He said he has never forgotten the time an MBA professor told him much of the world's stock was held by little old widowed ladies. 'I do not want to go out, become public and disappoint investors,' Mr Ingram said. 'We will probably be ready next year.' Goldman Sachs analyst Radek Barnert said VoIP was developed enough to allow companies to do phone calls on a consistent, reliable basis. 'We are getting quality of service, and markets, such as China, are rolling out large [services],' he said. 'There is a market for someone who is going to do voice-over IP in the wireless context.' The plan was to go after the larger customers and the smaller ones would follow. 'In most cases, it just matters how quickly they can get test beds among the larger carriers,' Mr Barnert said. Research house Dataquest said in a recent study that voice-over packet network (VoPN) technology, which includes VoIP, would soon expand into the mainstream after being a niche market. The study also predicted that the VoPN market in the Asia-Pacific region would grow to US$18 billion by 2004, with China leading the way.