Perth-based Wavenet International has contracted the Malaysian plant of US-firm Solectron to manufacture its DualwaveV wireless modems, in what it hopes is the first step to global expansion.
With the retention of intellectual capital becoming a national economic issue, the local developer appears to be gleaning the best of both worlds. The agreement with US-based Solectron is part of a strategic plan to secure a quality component and production capability in South East Asia, according to managing director, John Thompson.
"Our relationship with Solectron will provide Wavenet with a number of advantages moving forward. Firstly the company will be able to access Solectron's global purchasing power in order to maintain our price competitiveness. We will also benefit from the scalability of their worldwide plants which will double our production capability," he said.
"The latter is extremely important as demand grows for Wavenet's wireless technology and our ability to fulfil orders becomes a measure of our success," Thompson added.
Wavenet's decision to outsource manufacturing will allow it to focus on further research and product development. Thompson said the bulk of the company's revenue is coming from mass production - 10,- 20,000 unit orders. "[Wavenet] wasn't built to be a manufacturer and we needed someone who could up the production figures swiftly if demand required it," he said.
The first series of orders placed with Solectron are for 10,000 devices destined for the US under Wavenet's AUS$5.6 million supply contract with Motient Corporation. Thompson said the US wireless market has a 12-month lead on the Asia Pacific region with five or six established groups already providing wireless services for wireless corporations.
The selection by Solectron spells something of a quality assurance according to Thompson. The electronics builder, who handles the likes of Motorola, is renowned for its scrutiny of potential technologies prior to accepting its production.