You might think that the global market for high technology ends somewhere around Austria, New Zealand, and Singapore. Well, think again. What we may see as the developing world is hungry for high tech, too. There are tons of untapped markets to sink your teeth into.
Take Cisco Systems' (Nasdaq: CSCO ) latest customer announcement, for example. A new mobile WiMax service, brand-named AERO, was built around Cisco hardware from the ground up. A million residents and plenty of local businesses can now connect to the Internet anywhere within a vast, sparsely populated area. This wide-reach, high-speed technology is still unavailable across most of the United States, despite the best efforts of Intel (Nasdaq: INTC ) , Google (Nasdaq: GOOG ) , and a gaggle of cable service providers to push their Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR ) access.
Those Cisco servers and base stations are not going to Kentucky. They sit in Karaganda, in central Kazakhstan. Go ahead and look that up on a map. I'll wait right here. Yeah, that's the far reaches of Borat's supposed motherland. You got it.
Karaganda is so remote that the Russians use the name as a punch line in jokes. Yet this isolated city and the steppes around it probably got WiMax goodness before your cozy hometown. "In 2009, we plan to expand AERO further across several regions of Kazakhstan and add video to our offering," says Stepan Vadyunin, service provider AsiaBell's CEO.
There is a scarcity of current technology in places like Karaganda, or Laos, or Belize, and in thousands of other obscure corners of the Earth. But the people there want the same conveniences that we have, and farsighted businesses like Cisco, Nokia (NYSE: NOK ) , and IBM (NYSE: IBM ) are going after those opportunities with a vengeance.
This particular deal is not huge for Cisco itself, but the company is working on dozens of contracts like that one, if not hundreds. So the next time you see a tech company's growth faltering stateside or in Western Europe, just remember that it's a very big world out there. Big deals can happen in unexpected places.
You may want to grab a free 30-day trial pass to Global Gains to find a few stocks growing close to these places. And keep an eye on the "international" or "emerging markets" segments of the companies you already know.
Further reading for make glorious benefit to Fool: