Redline, which specializes in broadband fixed wireless equipment and works mostly with distributors and system integrators that also specialize in wireless, has partnered with WAV to further expand and strengthen its distribution, said Mitch Vine, director of product management at Redline. The wireless company also has strong partnerships in place with distributors Alliance and Talley in North America.
According to Vine, Redline doesn’t sell directly to its customers at all, instead relying on a two-tier distribution model for its sales. He added that the company has tried to keep most of its own employees focused on product development. Sales, support and manufacturing are outsourced “as much as we can,” he said.
“We’re a little unique in that we work almost exclusively with wireless specialist systems integrators and wireless distributors around the world,” Vine said. “Most of these companies are fairly focused on wireless. We find that there aren’t that many companies who are reasonable experts at both IP networking as well as radio, but there are people out there. We track them down and we’re working with them as systems integrators.”
In terms of its research and development, Redline is a principal member of WiMAX Forum and has staked a claim as being the first company to launch a WiMAX (802.16) product. The AN-100 Wireless Broadband Point to Multipoint System is, according to Vine, the world’s first standards-based broadband wireless system for the pending WiMAX standard, and was released in October 2003.
Redline, which was founded in 1999, has distribution networks in about 40 countries, Vine said, with some major wireless distributors covering large geographic zones (such as South America).
“Some of the distributors are multi-country distributors,” Vine said.
Within North America, Vine said Redline has strong geographic coverage, and there are about 60 to 70 systems integrators throughout the U.S. and Canada. Most of the integrators are wireless specialists. Vine said the channel program is still growing, and more partners are still being added, but many of the newest partners are smaller ones that are niche players in areas that Redline wanted to expand into.
“I’d say right now with the channel, we’re pretty well covered in North America now that we’ve got two main distributors and a couple of small ones and 60 to 70 systems integrators. So I think that’s actually more than enough for North America,” Vine said.