Westell Technologies, Inc. was incorporated in Delaware in 1980 and is headquartered at 750 North Commons Drive, Aurora, Illinois. The Company is comprised of three operating segments: Customer Networking Systems (“CNS”) equipment, Outside Plant Systems (“OSPlant Systems”) equipment, both segments, collectively, referred to as “combined equipment segments” or “equipment segments” and ConferencePlus services (previously telecom services) segment. In the equipment segments, the Company designs, distributes, markets and services a broad range of broadband, digital transmission, remote monitoring, power distribution and demarcation products used by telephone companies and other telecommunications service providers such as mobile network operators (“wireless”), multiple systems operators (“MSOs”), integrated carriers, and utility providers (all known as “service providers”) to deliver broadband and other services over existing copper telephone wires, fiber optic networks, hybrid fiber-coax networks, and wireless infrastructures.
The CNS equipment segment includes networking and high-speed transmissions products that allow service providers to deliver broadband services over existing copper, fiber, coax, or wireless infrastructures. The Company’s OSPlant Systems equipment segment is a leading provider of performance monitoring DS1 and DS3 transmission and termination equipment, next generation outside plant cabinets, enclosures, power distribution, flexible termination panels and enclosures for Ethernet, fiber and coax, remote monitoring and ancillary network solutions. The power distribution and remote monitoring solutions are provided through the Company’s Noran Tel subsidiary, which was acquired on January 2, 2007, and marketed and sold through the OSPlant Systems operating segment.
The Company’s ConferencePlus services segment is comprised of a 100% owned subsidiary, Conference Plus, Inc. (“ConferencePlus”). During December 2008, ConferencePlus became a wholly owned subsidiary when the Company purchased the remaining 8.5% minority interest. ConferencePlus provides audio, web and video conferencing services. Businesses and individuals use these services to hold audio, web and video conferences with multiple participants. ConferencePlus sells its services directly to customers, including Fortune 1000 companies, and also serves customers indirectly through its private reseller program.
The equipment segments offer a broad range of products that facilitate the broadband transmission of high-speed digital and analog services between a service provider and end-user customers. These two equipment segments are:
CNS: The Company’s CNS family of broadband products enables high-speed transport and networking of voice, data, video, and other advanced services. The products allow service providers to deliver services, content, and applications over existing copper, fiber, coax, and wireless infrastructures. Westell CNS products are typically installed in consumer residences or small businesses as a key component of a broadband service package.
OSPlant Systems: The Company’s OSPlant Systems product family consists of next generation outdoor cabinets, enclosures, power distribution, flexible edge connectors (fiber, Ethernet and coax), remote monitoring, DS1 and DS3 transmission plugs. These solutions are optimized for wireless backhaul, service delivery to business enterprise and smart grid applications. With its recent introduction of Customized Systems Integration (“CSI”) service, the Westell OSPlant Systems team now offers its customers a one-stop-shop for complete turnkey solutions, reducing the time-to-market and expenses incurred through third-party contractors eliminating the need to design, assemble and test on the job site. Target customers include Wireline Service Providers, Wireless Service Providers, Multiple System Operators (“MSOs”), Utility Providers and Original Equipment Manufacturers (“OEMs”) worldwide. The power distribution and remote monitoring products are designed and provided through the Company’s Noran Tel subsidiary located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The prices for the products within each market group vary based upon volume, customer specifications and other criteria and are subject to change due to competition among telecommunications equipment manufacturers. Increasing competition, in terms of the number of entrants and their size, and the increasing size of the Company’s customers because of mergers and other factors, continue to exert downward pressure on prices for some of the Company's products. At some point, the Company may elect to eliminate some products and exit some markets based on an analysis of current and future prospects, and/or enter new, more attractive markets.
CNS Products. The Company’s CNS products enable residential customers, small businesses, and small office/home office (“SOHO”) users to access and share broadband services on networked computers, telephones, cell phones, televisions, media players, and other networked devices. A broad offering of networking products and technologies allows the Company to address several segments of the service provider market, distinguished by the methods used to deliver their services: wireline operators (copper and fiber), mobile network operators (wireless), cable multi-service operators (hybrid fiber-coax), and integrated carriers that operate as combinations of the other three.