Polar Power stated: "We believe that currently we have a relatively small market share of the U.S. telecom backup power generator market with significant opportunities among the top-tier carriers as well as the fragmented "last mile" service providers. During 2018, we narrowed the price difference between our products and top brand AC generator products, while delivering what we believe is a more reliable and fuel-efficient product solution. During 2018, we received product certification from most of the major Tier-1 telecommunication providers in the U.S. market and initial orders from key international customers. We believe these accomplishments, combined with expanded international sales infrastructure, positions us for continued positive revenue growth in 2019 (...) Our strategic investments in plant automation and equipment has provided us with significantly higher production capacity for 2019. We believe this increase in plant capacity will enable us to not only increase market share with our existing Tier-1 customers, but also provide us with the ability to target and serve new customers and geographies".
Polar Power announced increasing demand from U.S. telecom providers during Q4 has resulted in a backlog of $19.1M as of November 26th, 2018. This is a $17.3M increase from a backlog of $1.8M on December 31, 2017. The backlog of $19.1M reflects $1.1M in international sales from Africa and Asia regions.
Polar Power announced the receipt of $7.5M in new orders from its existing U.S. Tier 1 wireless customers, which will add to its existing backlog. On top of its existing orders, these additional orders are scheduled for deliveries over the next 120 days. Polar Power 's DC generators are used to power telecom equipment at tower facilities for both on-grid or off-grid locations. These new orders are for Polar Power's standard 15kW DC backup generator with the following fuel options: diesel, natural gas and LPG fuel. With the proliferation of wireless broadband services across the United States, the need for increased reliability is growing in parallel with the need for site hardening due to the increasing frequency and severity of storms. Key technology trends, such as the internet of things, autonomous vehicles and video streaming demand high reliability and quality standards from broadband services. For the past 25 years, Polar Power has designed power systems that meet stringent industry requirements and it is now benefiting from capital expenditure plans at Tier-1 telecoms as network reliability and backup power during emergencies have become key industry initiatives.
Polar Power has entered the wireless infrastructure market in Namibia, Africa with the creation of its new wholly owned subsidiary, Polar Power Africa, headquartered in Windhoek, Namibia. Subsequent to the completion of the Polar Power Africa subsidiary, the company received its first telecom tower site purchase order from Mobile Telecommunications Limited, the largest mobile operator in Namibia, Africa, with over two million active subscribers, in conjunction with its 081 Every1 project. The MTC 081 Every1 project, which aims to erect 524 new towers over the next two years in rural Namibia is a N$1.2B project and was officially launched in July 2017, by Deputy Minister of ICT, Stanley Simataa. It was initiated in response to MTC's desire to bridge the digital divide between urban and rural Namibia, ensure that all Namibians have access to quality networks, mobile connectivity, broadband accessibility and access to the information superhighway in line with the spirit of Harambee. Multiple contractors have also been selected and those contractors with the best performance will continue with the 524-site rollout. The Polar Power Africa subsidiary will be led by two of Polar Power's international sales directors, Andre Herbst and Michael Mullen. Both have a combined 50 years' experience in cell site and tower installations in remote locations across the globe. The complete cell site project will encompass two phases: Phase 1: Tower installation with average project duration of two months and Phase 2: Component installation with average project duration of three months. Polar Power Africa receives 25% of the tower site installation cost upfront and the balance after Phase 1 project completion. Phase 2 places Polar Power Africa in a strategic position to incorporate its lithium battery powered hybrid solar systems to complete the new cell site. Polar Power Africa currently has $0.8M in Phase 1 purchase orders for new telecommunications sites in Namibia and anticipates more cell site tower construction purchase orders this year before Phase 2 purchase orders for Polar's hybrid solar DC power systems begin.
Polar Power has received a 105-unit purchase order for its 15-kilowatt back-up DC generator set from a newly signed Tier-1 wireless carrier customer in the United States. This initial purchase order will be shipped over the next three months to telecom sites in the United States as part of the Tier-1 wireless carrier's new cell site hardening initiative. In the fourth quarter of 2017 and into the beginning of 2018, Polar Power commenced and completed a six-month test and evaluation with this Tier-1 wireless carrier in the U.S. for a customized, more economical DC power system. This solution was built to the customer specifications and Polar Power was added to their national monitoring system in the first quarter of 2018. Through the Tier-1 wireless carrier's cell site integration partner, the company received its initial purchase order and expects to deliver these units in the second and third quarter of 2018.