Calnex bags Spirent deal in emerging markets boost

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A TECHNOLOGY firm from Linlithgow has sealed a deal with FTSE 250 equipment supplier Spirent Communications that will help it push into fast-growing emerging markets such as China and ­India.

Calnex, which makes hardware and software for testing telecommunications systems, already has ten of its own sales staff working overseas, but the contract to supply Spirent will give it access to a much larger sales force.

Chief executive and founder Tommy Cook said: “Spirent has a system that meets about 90 per cent of its customers’ needs and has brought in our equipment to fulfil that final 10 per cent.

“The contract itself is important but there are also secondary benefits. Take China for example – Spirent will have 200 people on the ground, whereas we would only have a handful, so it’s a big boost for us.”

Cook’s comments came as Calnex unveiled expansion plans. The firm employs about 40 staff in West Lothian and is looking to grow its headcount by about 25 per cent by beefing up its engineering team.

Cook said: “We’ve grown our turnover by 20 per cent in the past year to about £5 million. But technology companies always need to be looking at what they’re going to be developing next. You can never rest on your laurels.”

Cook will be travelling to the United States next month along with two of his colleagues to speak at a major telecoms conference.

The Workshop on Synchronization in Telecommunication Systems (WSTS) 2013 will look at how base stations – the equipment to which mobile phones connect to send and receive calls and data – can be made to work more closely 
together to handle the growing amounts of 4G data.

Improving the performance of how base stations synchronise with each other will be key to handling “long-term 
evolution” (LTE) services, the next generation of mobile-phone technology after 4G.