1998 Winner: Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology (Sales less than 25 million)
Wi-LAN designs and markets leading-edge wireless networking technologies for its global customers. The company recently signed an agreement with Tele2 U.K. to develop a National Public wireless Data Network. Phase I, valued at $1.6 million, will use Wi-LAN Ethernet bridges to provide high-speed Internet access and intranet services to customers in England’s Thames Valley. A national roll out, valued at $75 million and $150 million, is planned for 1999 with the network expected to reach 60 percent of the U.K. population by 2003. Based on the terms and conditions of the contract, the value of the second phase to Wi-LAN is expected to range from $75 to $150 million.
Other recent installations include a ship-to-shore data communications system for the Canadian Coast Guard, a “smart highway” traffic control project for San Antonio, Texas and a project to provide real-time stock quotations and market information between banks and brokerages in West Africa. Wi-LAN revenues have tripled each year since for the past three years. The company recorded total sales of close to $1.4 million in fiscal 1996, a 305 percent increase over the previous year. Total revenue reached over $5.3 million in the 1997 fiscal year, an additional 389 percent increase. Export sales grew from $5,000 in 1995 to $900,000 in 1996 to $3,470,000 in 1997.
Today, Wi-LAN wireless networking products can be found in more than 30 countries on six continents. On March 25, 1998, Wi-LAN began trading as a public company on the Alberta Stock Exchange under the symbol WIN. The money raised will finance an aggressive growth strategy focused on commercializing its patented technologies through product development and OEM licensing agreements.