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October 11, 2012

Growing tech firm is dialing up larger Rochester facility

Communication is key to getting almost anything done today, making reliable cellular signals very valuable for businesses and individuals.
At the cellular level, keeping people and machines connected is what WPS Antennas is all about.

Just as the cellular industry has exploded in the past decade, WPS has grown from a tiny Rochester business into a global operation with major Fortune 500 companies as customers.

2256_66719545880_3480_nNow WPS, which was formed in 2001, has outgrown its base in the Rochester Airport Business Park on the south side of the city.

WPS Chief Manager Bob Crowley and Marketing Manager Matt Larson are now taking their company north to a much larger facility at 3035 40th Ave. N.W. near Rochester Restaurant Supply in the West Circle Drive Industrial Park.

Mike Haley, of Braasch Commercial Real Estate, handled the deal.

"We're more than doubling our space," Larson syas. "We're essentially going from 2,600-square-feet up to 6,000 square feet."

That means the 10-employee firm will have more room to warehouse its cellular antennas, cabling and related equipment.

When WPS began in 2001, it carried less than 100 different antennas and parts to serve customers. That number has skyrocketed to more than 5,700.

While WPS is not adding staff, the expansion means the firm will be more efficient in designing and assembling customized antennas for its wide variety of clients.

"Right now, everyone is stacked on top of each other," Larson says.

WPS has already started its move. If everything goes as planned, Larson expects to be completely up and running in the new facility by the end of the month.

These aren't your father's TV antennas. WPS provides antenna systems for a national movie DVD vending machine firm plus all sorts of other vending machines that accept credit cards. Their systems can also be found in bank ATMs, cash registers, alarm systems and many other everyday machines that need a constant signal.

WPS antennas are not always the primary communication link. Many companies use antennas as "fail-safe" devices to keep data flowing when a cable is broken. A couple of convenience store chains sport WPS antennas on their roofs to keep the cash registers talking to the head office, even if a backhoe digs through a communication line.

"We're kind of like a backup power generator," Larson says.

Another, smaller piece of their business, is helping homeowners and small businesses to boost cellular phone reception within buildings.

Cellular coverage is becoming such a necessity in today's society that local doctors and others who are on-call for emergencies avoid businesses without adequate signals, Larson says.

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Matt Larsen is one of the hardest working and knowledgeable individuals that you will ever deal with in a technical/sales environment.

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