Keeping our World Connected

Advantech Wireless

The team covers everything from design to manufacturing and deployment, in order to supply the best in communications network components, broadband connectivity solutions, broadcast solutions, and backhaul requirements. The company is based in Montreal and boasts additional offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Russia, Brazil and Venezuela.

David Gelerman launched Advantech Wireless in 1989, drawing on his extensive experience to turn a good business idea into an international success. His credentials begin with a Master’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) with a focus on Wireless Communications and Broadcasting from the Moscow Institute of Telecommunications. After emigrating from the Soviet Union to Canada in 1981, Mr. Gelerman spent the next seven years working for Nortel Networks. During his time managing the Transmission Networks Division, Mr. Gelerman was responsible for teams that developed several significant Point-to-Point (P2P) radio systems.

But, according to Satellite Today, it was while working as a product development manager for Nortel Networks that he recognized a crucial gap in the market for communication products priced below the hundred million dollar mark. He decided to take advantage of the opportunity, and Advantech Wireless was born. “I [had] to try,” he remembers. “[There were] not too many VCs around, and not too many start-ups. It was different time, a different millennia.”

The leap of faith worked even though, at first, Mr. Gelerman wasn’t even sure what the company’s focus would be, Satellite Today reports. But he had plenty of firsthand knowledge on designing and building microwave components, and knew that he could apply this knowledge to satellite technology. As the company grew, the business model evolved, and Advantech Wireless slowly expanded its focus from microwave technology to providing total solutions.

Today, the team is a one stop shop for wireless communication products and services. Applications include data networking, news gathering, defence, cellular back-hauling and broadcasting. The company’s range of products include VSAT / DVB-RCS Hub and Terminals, SSPA, Block-up Converters, Frequency Converters, Satellite Modems, Antenna Controllers, Microwave radios for native transport of Video, PDH, SDH, SONET and IP traffic.

All products and solutions are designed to deliver rapid deployment, cost-effective content distribution and sharing, reliability of quality and service, flexibility and scalability, a single platform solution for all needs, and always-on broadband connectivity.

Continuously providing the market with new and innovative products is Advantech Wireless’ secret to success, Mr. Gelerman says. “You always have to reinvent yourself to be ahead of competition,” he explains. “And to do this, you need to have a really substantial amount of in-house knowhow and capabilities.” As a result, the company places a huge emphasis on research and development. “If you don’t,” Mr. Gelerman explains, “your product line will become completely dated.” It is crucial, he insists, to “continually reinvent your core business to stay modern.”

The team works hard to consistently produce products that meet the current market’s needs –not an easy or straightforward task when these needs are constantly changing. Listening to the customer helps, and taking the time to notice any problems and frustrations with current technologies is a great starting point for better solutions. It is also vital to keep a close eye on market trends and to stay aware of the overall direction in which the industry is headed. In the end, the goal is always to provide the most appropriate and reliable technologies at a competitive price.

Advantech Wireless is meeting that goal. The team has been responsible for developing some of the industry’s most innovative products. In fact, the business has been recognized as the best R&D company in Quebec (PME) at the Mercuriades Award, as well as the Best Overall Company of the Year. The team has also won Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies Program three years in a row.

The award winning team has recently launched two exciting new product lines that showcase the company’s technological abilities. One is a line of VSAT terminals. New advancements in this area have led to a fully integrated product with a dramatic retail price reduction – the half a million dollar price tag has just been slashed to $50,000. The second new product line is a range of GaN-based solid state power amplifiers and converters. The team has recently achieved a technological breatkthrough that allows them to build these units nearly half the size of the previous generation. The newest units also require up to 70 percent less power, generate up to 30 percent less heat and offer greater reliability and better noise performance.

“We’re maintaining a worldwide leadership position,” Mr. Gelerman says of the company’s leading edge GaN technology. “To a great degree we are still unchallenged, especially on the high powered levels. We are practically alone in selling these products.”

Both of these new product lines demonstrate the company’s commitment to lead the world market in new technological developments. “The strategy is to be first in the market with new technologies,” Mr. Gelerman explains. “Not to miss opportunities, not to wait until somebody else comes and then jump in.” In fact, by staying ahead of the competition, Mr. Gelerman says that managers can actually “shape markets [in the] direction most advantageous for your company.”

How does Advantech Wireless manage to continue pushing ahead with the newest communications technologies? Mr. Gelerman laughs that it is accomplished simply “by being overly paranoid that if you don’t [do it] fast enough, someone else will do it faster than you and beat you to the market.” In the constantly evolving world of wireless communication, forging ahead with the newest and most innovative ideas is absolutely essential, he explains. As a result, the team is constantly pushing the envelope in their quest to produce the best possible solutions.

The time and energy expended creating and improving product can be enormous. “It is a long, tedious process,” Mr. Gelerman admits. “It takes many years.” Once a product is finally developed, maintaining close relationships with suppliers is vital in order to get it into the market quickly. And timing is everything. “You always have [the] competitive advantage bringing a device to the market first,” Mr. Gelerman explains.

It is equally important that the product is completely reliable before it hits the market. Advantech Wireless will not release a product before it is ready, Mr. Gelerman insists. He points out, for example, that one of the company’s latest products has now been on the market for nearly two years without a single customer returning it due to faulty technology. “Our new core technology is found to be very reliable,” he adds.

Of course reliable, leading edge technology comes at a cost, and the investment in research and development must be recouped. “Yes,” Mr. Gelerman admits, “[the newest technology] is a little more expensive.” Part of the higher cost is due to the smaller production volumes that the newest, most technologically advanced products often require. As demand increases, however, so will production volumes. “In the future, the price will go down, and it will be less expensive, more affordable for everybody.”

Mr. Gelerman also gives ample credit to Advantech Wireless’ skilled staff for the company’s continued advancements in technology. “[It is the] hard work and dedication of talented scientists who believe in what they are doing,” he reports. The “multi-talented team” must be capable of creating innovative solutions that cover the full range of wireless communications. “We do everything,” Mr. Gelerman points out. This could include anything from telecom IP and software development to terminal analysis. “And, we have to merge [it all] together to culminate in reliable, cost effective product.”

Constantly forging ahead into untested technological waters is not for the faint of heart. “Challenges are always there,” Mr. Gelerman admits. But despite the challenges, Advantech Wireless will continue pushing ahead. “We are going forward. We are going faster and faster at an accelerated pace.”

Increasing the pace is crucial when competitors are constantly nipping at your heels. “The market is very competitive. So you always have to think about what is next and how to make it better, faster, smaller, lighter, more efficient, less costly, and so on. This is the never ending game of high tech business.”

August 21, 2017, 7:55 AM EDT

A Model that Addresses Infrastructure Demand

The Labourers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA) is a National Union representing over 500 000 members – over 110 000 in Canada with an International Office in Hamilton, Ontario. It has Local Unions across the country and is the most common union of construction, healthcare, waste management, and show service workers in this country. In fact, LiUNA, established in 1903, is Canada’s largest Building Trades Union.