Wireless modem giant creates 145 jobs in Cork

4 Dec 2008

Up to 145 jobs are to be created in Cork by the Dutch technology company Options Wireless, a leading manufacturer of Wi-Fi routers and USB modems.

The new facility will include a manufacturing production facility, as well as process development activities.

The investment, supported by IDA Ireland, will capitalise on Cork’s reputation as a critical location for the design and development of wireless products. In recent years, Motorola closed a major chip-design facility in the city, which is home to a number of major consumer electronics players, including Apple and Logitech.

Options Wireless’ new Cork facility will function as the company’s primary customisation, logistics and fulfilment site, and will add value to the basic product by customising it with firmware and software.

The new process-development activities will focus on critical aspects of the company’s advanced customisation and manufacturing capabilities in anticipation of substantial volume growth, following the doubling of output between 2005 and 2007.

“This excellent news for the Cork facility will substantially extend its mandate and is due to the highly skilled management team and workforce, and their ability to be flexible and innovative, traits which are well-proven characteristics of the Irish workforce,” said the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Mary Coughlan TD.

“Once again, this is a clear demonstration of Ireland’s premier position as a leading location for high-level manufacturing and process development. The expansion and the addition of leading-edge process development are important to the future of Option’s global business, and will further underpin the Cork facility going forward,” Minister Coughlan added.

Options Wireless already employs 300 people in Cork’s Kilbarry Industrial Estate, divided equally between permanent and temporary staff.

The operation plays a critical role in the company’s global supply chain, and produces a broad array of products such as data cards, USB modems, software, routers and embedded modules.

“Option continues to build on its reputation for delivering its range of wireless internet devices that are developed to the specific needs of the markets it serves,” said David Whelan, vice-president in charge of global operations at Option Wireless.

“Our customers expect a high degree of quality and flexibility, and our operation here in Cork enables our business to deliver to these expectations. Continuous improvements in our production and delivery processes, together with a strong management capability, have ensured that the Cork facility is a key component of our global operations.

“Cork is the obvious choice for this expansion, which will enable our business to deliver increasing volumes of product while striving for greater efficiency, which ultimately benefits our customers,” Whelan said.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: the GlobeSurfer iCON 401 USB, one of Option Wireless’ broad range of products

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years