Belfast company achieves export success with satellite phone component

Local company Mimix Broadband, Belfast has secured major export success following an investment of almost £700,000 backed by Invest Northern Ireland.

Research and Development support from Invest NI helped the company, formerly known as Celeritek UK, to develop a range of high-tech power amplifiers for use in satellite phones. One of the technologically advanced new products enabled USA-based parent company Mimix Broadband Inc. to secure successive lucrative contracts with Cambridge Consultants Ltd, a leading wireless product development firm. The company has also secured sales of various power amplifiers to other major telecoms firms, including Siemens, Ericsson and Alcatel.

The power amplifiers are small electronic components that enable satellite phones to work in any part of the world, linking them to a network of orbiting satellites. Satellite phones are primarily used in parts of the world where conventional mobile phones cannot operate and are used by a diverse range of customers.

Dr Andrew Patterson, Director of Power Amplifier Modules at Mimix Broadband, Belfast, said: “As Celeritek UK we built up a highly skilled team developing components for commercial mobile phone handsets but needed to diversify our product range following a downturn in the global mobile phone market. With Invest NI’s help we developed the power amplifier for satellite phones which, due to its highly specialised nature, enabled our parent company to secure major export sales, including the contracts with Cambridge Consultants.”

He added: “Thanks to the high quality of graduates in Northern Ireland, our Belfast site is now one of only two worldwide Research and Development centres for Mimix Broadband.”

John Thompson, Invest NI’s Director of Innovation, Research and Technology, said: “Mimix Broadband, Belfast has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to innovation which continues to reap dividends for the company’s export turnover. By establishing itself as a Research and Development centre within the Mimix Broadband Inc. group, the firm is also an excellent example of a high-tech company making use of the quality and availability of skills in Northern Ireland. I have no doubt the company can go on to achieve even more success in what is a highly competitive market, adding significant value to the local economy.”

Invest Northern Ireland, through its Compete programme, offered £190,427 towards a total investment by Mimix Broadband of £683,698. This project is part funded by the European Union’s Building Sustainable Prosperity fund.