Action Intended to Improve Cash Flow and Profitability
CALGARY, Canada – February 1, 2006 – Wi-LAN Inc. (TSX:WIN) announced today that it will continue actions to focus on building the value of its core broadband wireless intellectual property business, by exiting its equipment business in an orderly manner. Wi-LAN’s products incorporate market-leading technology and have been well received by the market, but the equipment business is not profitable and the company is unable to sustain the ongoing development expense and working capital requirements of the product lines while also growing the intellectual property business. Wi-LAN expects to complete this phased action by the end of its second quarter on April 30, 2006, ultimately reducing its workforce by approximately 50 positions. The company is pursuing potential partners interested in purchasing one or more of its commercial broadband wireless access product lines. Wi-LAN will work cooperatively with its suppliers, customers, distributors and other stakeholders to ensure an orderly transition of the business. At the same time, the company is working with several industry players to execute novel approaches to market its existing IP solutions, patent portfolio and expertise, and to develop new IP solutions for the growing broadband wireless fixed and mobile markets.
“This action marks another major step in our strategy to concentrate on a business model that levers our patent and technology position in the face of the transitioning of the broadband wireless market to large equipment suppliers offering high-volume, low margin, standards-based products,” said Bill Dunbar, president and CEO, Wi-LAN Inc. “Recent results from our focus on the IP business have reinforced our direction. The licensing arrangement concluded December 2, 2005 has cleared the way for further market development. We are pursuing these opportunities directly and with partners.”
Wi-LAN has realigned its resources to increase its corporate focus on providing IP products and services to the broadband wireless access industry. Wi-LAN’s IP Division is positioned to provide its customers with industry-leading products and services including key WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) physical layer (PHY) and Media Access Control (MAC) core designs and software, semiconductor intellectual property design expertise, reference design kits for WiMAX subscriber and base stations, and access to Wi-LAN’s extensive broadband wireless patent portfolio. Target customers for the division include commercial broadband wireless access equipment manufactures, integrated circuit (IC) manufacturers, and original design manufactures (ODM’s).
As Wi-LAN improves its focus on intellectual property, the company’s board of directors has initiated a search for a new President and CEO, which will include both internal and external candidates. Bill Dunbar has led the organization since February 23, 2005. He will continue to lead the business and drive the ongoing initiatives while the search is underway, and will work with the successful candidate to ensure continuity of the business plan.
Wi-LAN is taking advantage of a favourable office leasing market to relocate its head office and reduce its occupancy costs in a space better sized to its requirements. The new office address is:
Deerfoot 17 Building
Suite 200, 2710 - 17 th Avenue S.E.
Calgary, Alberta T2A 0P6
About Wi-LAN Inc.
Wi-LAN is a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and intellectual property, offering effective, economic and secure wireless high-speed communications solutions. Wi-LAN believes its portfolio of patents is necessary for the implementation of WiMAX Forum Certified (1) devices and devices using the IEEE standards 802.11a and 802.11g (the 2nd generation Wi-Fi Alliance (1) standards). Wi-LAN is a charter member of the WiMAX Forum (www.wimaxforum.org). Detailed information on Wi-LAN can be found at www.wi-lan.com.