Intune Networks, the Irish telecoms equipment design company, was today named to lead the Government’s programme to build Ireland’s Exemplar Smart Network. The Exemplar will be the first step in creating a next generation smart and green communications infrastructure for Ireland. The decision to develop the exemplar network using the Intune Networks technological approach was announced by Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan at the publication of ‘Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy’ strategy document.
According to Minister Ryan, creating an Exemplar Smart Network based on Intune Network’s world leading technology will give Ireland first mover advantage in the establishment of a Smart Economy, helping Ireland leapfrog its international peers in digital infrastructure. This development will position Ireland as a global innovation leader and will potentially deliver significant economic benefits to the Irish economy. The network will be used to demonstrate and highlight the breadth and depth of Ireland’s vision, technologies, research and corporate capabilities which will help to attract more inward investment, rapidly expand job creation and stimulate the Smart Economy.
Minister Ryan, making the announcement, said, “Today we are setting a new economic direction for Ireland. In the future, those countries that focus on the development of new energy and communications technologies are those that will have the competitive edge. With Irish companies like InTune Networks leading in research and innovation, today we are securing the investment and employment of the future. The Smart economy is the successful economy, and it’s one to which the Government is committed.”
Tim Fritzley, CEO, Intune Networks said: “The Irish Government has shown great vision in identifying the potential that the creation of a fibre optic based Smart Network can deliver for the broader Irish economy. By developing this network, as well as implementing the other actions announced today, Ireland will be a number of years ahead of other countries. The converged vision of the Exemplar Network, Dependable Green Energy, and efficient Content and Data Centres, will position Ireland to create and attract the kinds of jobs and investments that the economy requires in order to achieve the vision of becoming a Smart Economy. We are delighted to support the government in this venture and to play our part in creating a genuine knowledge society and smart economy. The Exemplar Smart Network will open significant opportunities for Ireland as indigenous companies use it as a platform for developing and testing new applications and international companies come to Ireland to base R&D activity here.”
Intune Networks has developed the world’s first programmable fibre optic platform which is critical to building an Exemplar Smart Network. This new technology will help to bring the Internet and World Wide Web to the next level, allowing high quality, on-demand and interactive services. Developing this technology has the potential to position Ireland for a wave of opportunities based on the future of the Internet that up to now have been considered an area of expertise of regions like Silicon Valley in the US and several Far Eastern countries who are pushing the boundaries of consumer broadband networks. As the government announced today, lab trials are expected to commence early 2010 with the rollout of the first phase of the Exemplar Smart Network operation before the end of that year.
Intune Networks estimates that the Exemplar Network will allow for the creation of 50 new high tech jobs in the next year and a further 300 additional high tech jobs within the next three years as the network is rolled out. The company already employs 100 people in Dublin and Belfast (of which 90% are high tech R&D jobs, and half are Masters or PhD level). Tim Fritzley has stated that Intune Networks has already become a magnet attracting the best talent from Ireland and the EU. In addition to planned future growth at Intune, the development of the network could lead to several thousands of related jobs being created in local indigenous companies and by multi-nationals that chose to locate an R&D base here. Intune Networks had not originally considered Ireland as the creator of such a critical programme but the strength of the government’s converged vision convinced the company to dedicate the necessary resources for creating, launching, and operating this next generation program.
John Dunne, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Intune Networks noted: “We have spent the past ten years developing the technology to address the challenge presented by growing amounts of data and video traffic on the internet. Through our work we have invented the programmable fibre optic network. It uses up to 75% less energy than today’s networks which are dominated by electronics. This green and smart network will enable new consumer, business and mobile data services to be delivered with 50% less cost and with major advancement in the quality experience for end users. By making the decision to invest in the development of an Exemplar Smart Network in combination with the other actions announced today, Ireland will have the most advanced network in the World. We believe that the new network will be the foundation stone for Ireland’s Smart Economy and are very excited about commencing the development work on this critical project and in building and growing our company to ensure we can play our part in helping to deliver this strategy.”