Foster announces Invest NI support for multi-million pound telecommunications' investment

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster announced Invest Northern Ireland’s support for a £9.27million investment by telecommunications firm Intune Networks, today.

Intune Networks, based in the Republic of Ireland, builds highly advanced optical networking platforms for high definition video and IT services. The company has established a new Research & Development Centre in Belfast which will create up to 77 new high-skilled ICT positions by 2010.

Invest NI has offered £983,000 towards the project, which includes part funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The new telecoms networking platform will focus on improving high speed internet connectivity in cities and towns, known as a Metro Area Network. The Intune Belfast centre will design key parts of the platform and provide test and customer support facilities.

Announcing Invest NI’s support, the Minister said: “Intune Networks is a highly innovative business in the competitive telecommunications market. It is precisely the type of company that we wish to attract to Northern Ireland, as it brings highly-skilled jobs and spin-off opportunities, further strengthening the local knowledge base.

“Intune’s decision to locate this £9.27million centre in Northern Ireland over other locations, is testament to our exceptionally talented ICT skilled workforce, which the company considers to be the perfect fit for its global growth plans and product development activities.

“Working with Invest NI, Intune Networks plans to employ up to 77 people by 2010, delivering over £2.7million annually in additional salaries. A broad range of engineering and software skills is required in the area of telecoms systems and component design.

“This is a major commitment by Intune Networks, and an extremely positive one, particularly given the current economic climate. It is an investment which demonstrates this region’s competitiveness and Invest NI’s ability to secure quality investment.”

Tim Fritzley, CEO of Intune Networks added: “The Belfast R&D centre will develop key subsystems of our new product line. This product line has the potential to solve some of the largest cost-performance problems facing the telecoms world today. Our Optical Packet Switch and Transport Platform is gaining credibility within Tier 1 carrier organisations throughout Europe, and this investment will cement that credibility due to the outstanding history of telecoms excellence in the Northern Ireland region.

“Invest NI’s ongoing support and flexibility in dealing with the unique needs of our project has been instrumental, particularly as we have initially focused on rapidly building a strong core team of developers to ramp up R&D activities. The calibre of the people recruited to date, and their wealth of experience in the design and development of large scale telecommunications software solutions, has been exceptional. We believe that this investment will be crucial to the quality and competitiveness of our products in international markets.”