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Versatile communications software firm signals a move into new markets

Volvo Ocean Race competitor Mapfre heeled over in heavy swell

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

A Surrey firm whose novel technology allows broadcasters and other companies to switch easily between satellite, cellular and land-based networks to move huge files more swiftly and securely is exploring new markets with help from EEN.


One of the most extreme applications for Livewire Digital’s software solution is on the current 45,000-mile Volvo Ocean Race.


Each yacht has RazorLink Smart Networking on-board to integrate three Inmarsat Fleet broadband terminals, four 4G modems and Wi-Fi when in port.


Razorlink® incorporates features that other manufacturers provide as separate technologies in proprietary hardware. Livewire Digital’s customers include Thomson Reuters and other major broadcasters who demand the fastest data transfer and live video with minimal latency (delay).


The technology also solves problems for highly mobile applications such as emergency services. Being able to migrate seamlessly between cellular, satellite and terrestrial networks means they are always connected.


Maximising potential


Managing director Tristan Wood, who founded Livewire Digital in 1991, approached EEN some two years ago for advice on maximising the potential of the technology developed by his 10-strong team in Leatherhead.


He said: “We needed a springboard to advance our technology and to look at different markets to see where we could export and to explore distributorships.


“That’s where we started talking to EEN. We soon managed to get a €900,000 two-year contract with the European Space Agency to develop phase three of our technology. EEN were very helpful in helping to establish a business case for the proposal.” The two-year project began in March 2017.


EEN also organised an IP audit, which immediately proved its worth.


“We have various trademarks and the exercise revealed that a company was trying to have one of our trademarks revoked, which we successfully defended. In addition, the audit helped us to review and manage patentable content in our new developments.”


Seamless, optimised communications


EEN spurred Livewire Digital to review its presence at industry events and a business review led to the decision to set up a dedicated sales and marketing department of 3-4 staff in the coming year.


Tristan added: “RazorLink Smart Networking opens up big opportunities in a broad set of markets. Providing seamless, optimised communications is key to many markets, from autonomous vehicles to the broadcast industry. It’s about understanding which ones we should focus on.


“EEN are helping there and continue to provide a sounding board and a different perspective on aspects of our business.”


The company is looking to set up a network of distributors worldwide, with EEN advising on which countries to explore. “That’s been an eye-opener too,” added Tristan. “Being an SME, we want capable distributors, people who can support the end-users.”


Not only have EEN saved us a lot of time and money but they have been a very effective sounding board for people like us, who are often very tied up in the technical side of the business.

Tristan Wood, founder and managing director, Livewire Digital.

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