Lisburn telecoms solutions firm invests in next generation technology

Arcatech Limited in Lisburn is investing over £450,000 with support from Invest Northern Ireland to design and develop an innovative new product for the global telecoms market.

The company provides simulation and test equipment for network operators, telecoms equipment manufacturers, laboratories and universities throughout Europe, the USA and South East Asia.

Arcatech’s new product will be a testing system which will enable its customers to verify that their equipment operates effectively with the IMS network which provides for IP/Multimedia services.

Invest NI has offered Arcatech over £240,000 of support, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), to help the company meet its customers’ demands for the latest technology as they move beyond the ‘Next Generation Network’ to 4G networks.

Arcatech is collaborating with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) which is responsible for agreeing standards among the various networks and providing continuity between technologies. Working closely with ETSI gives Arcatech advance knowledge of future market needs and the opportunity to develop technically innovative products which will enhance its competitive advantage. This engagement with ETSI has already resulted in a large contract with an Austrian telecom provider.

Tracy Meharg, Invest NI’s Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, said: “Arcatech is a small but ambitious company which continues to develop highly technical intellectual property and export the majority of its products to global markets. This R&D investment is an important part of Arcatech’s longer term growth strategy and will help the firm to remain at the cutting edge of the telecom industry’s technological advancements.”

Invest NI’s Boosting Business campaign is encouraging more market-led R&D, specifically among small businesses. It offers small companies up to 75% grant support for R&D projects. Financial support is also available to encourage businesses of any size to undertake prototype development and market entry projects.

Terry Simpson, Arcatech Managing Director, said: “Invest NI’s support will play a central role as we refine our R&D strategy to ensure that our research activities and product development continue to meet the changing needs of the telecoms sector. It is an approach which has already helped us to position ourselves competitively and secure export business. Indeed, I recently addressed the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Saint Petersburg on the challenges facing network providers as they deploy new services on the network. Over the coming months, we aim to become a key supplier of test equipment to the corporations that contribute to ETSI.”