RealTime IT News

MSL Secures First Wi-Fi Deal

Concord, Mass.-based Manufacturers' Services Limited , has won a new contract from Colubris Networks to manufacture its 802.11 equipment. Neither the financial terms nor duration of the deal was not disclosed.

MSL spokesman Mac Blythe said Colubris is the company's first Wi-Fi order, although it will pursue others.

Waltham, Mass.-based Colubris makes secure Wi-Fi gear for enterprise networks, government agencies and public area "hotspots" such as airports, hotels and convention centers.

The privately held company has partnered with large network equipment makers Alcatel and Juniper and struck deals with Wi-Fi firms such as Boingo, NetNearU and iPass.

"It's imperative that our firm has a strong manufacturing and supply chain partner with global reach, because it will help us to take advantage of the growing demand for our innovative Wi-Fi products," said Barry Fougere, Colubris president and CEO.

For MSL and other contract manufactuers, who have seen business dip since the telecom boom of the late 1990s, Wi-Fi equipment represents a promising sector.

Carriers including Verizon and SBC are investing in Wi-Fi equipment to add hotspots to their networks, prompted by a new breed of wireless providers that are rapidly providing subscription services.

According to Gartner Group, worldwide unit shipments for wireless networking equipment will grow at a 30 percent compound annual growth rate through 2007 while Wi-Fi public hotspot gateways will grow at a 65 percent annual clip.

MSL has 13 design, manufacturing and fulfillment facilities in the United States, Mexico, Southeast Asia and Europe and serves a number of industries.