Ottawa positioned as destination of choice for wireless companies
Date: Tue, 03/30/2010 - 12:56
When international wireless companies consider expansion to North America, the City of Ottawa invites them to join its 200-company, 18,000-employee-strong wireless sector with an endorsement from Richard Florida. Florida is the Director of the Toronto-based Martin Prosperity Institute and author of the international best seller Who's Your City?. He rates Ottawa as the "Best Overall" city in Canada on a "Creative Class Index" based on the 3Ts of economic development - Technology, Talent and Tolerance - topping other major metropolitan cities including New York, Boston, Washington, San Jose and London, England.
Ottawa's wireless sector includes public companies like DragonWave Inc. (wireless backhaul infrastructure), Bridgewater Systems (mobile personalization software) and March Networks Corp. (high-definition video surveillance applications) along with a growing number of new start-ups focused on the robust mobile applications sector that market research house Gartner estimates will expand to US$29.5 billion by 2013 from $6.2 million in 2010.
DragonWave is one of Ottawa's fast-rising wireless stars. Last month the company reported CDN$107.3 million of revenue for the first nine months of fiscal year 2010, an increase of 235 per cent compared with $32.0 million for the same period the previous year. DragonWave also expects revenue of approximately $170 million in fiscal year 2010 based on sales of its market-leading packet microwave solutions.
"Ottawa is pursuing wireless opportunities more aggressively than ever before," said Michael Darch, Executive Director, Global Marketing at OCRI. "We have abundant talent and important technology in nearly all aspects of wireless., Add Richard Florida's endorsement of Ottawa as "Best Overall" on his Creative Class Index to the mix and all the facts make Ottawa a very desirable location for wireless companies that want to be a part of Canada's Creative Economy Capital."
"I wholeheartedly agree Ottawa is an excellent North American location to establish and grow a wireless business," said Peter Allen, President and CEO of DragonWave, whose firm develops microwave gear that vastly increases the capacity of wireless networks under siege by huge new flows of traffic by BlackBerry, iPhone and Kindle-carrying users. DragonWave is a 21st century product of Ottawa's traditional 20th century telecom strength, having been founded in 2000 by four former Newbridge employees and financed in part by Ottawa technology magnate Terence Matthews. DragonWave then attracted Allen, a former Nortel executive, in 2004 after he launched another start-up.
Ottawa was recently named to the Top7 Intelligent Communities in the world by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF). The city was recognized for its ability to respond and adapt to change, leverage collaborative partnerships and promote technology entrepreneurship. With 78,000 employees in its 1,850-company technology sector, Ottawa is Canada's capital city and is also home to a recession-buffering public sector. As the country's fourth-largest city with a population of 900,000, Ottawa's predominant languages are English and French, but many others are spoken on the streets. About 25 per cent of the city's residents are born in other countries, and more than 20 per cent of residents are visible minorities. Ottawa's natural environment is another important part of its identity. The city has 850 parks that contribute to Ottawa's green character, and many are home to some 45 major arts and cultural festivals that take place throughout the year.