November 2021 – Multiband Antennas

Multiband Antennas Limited

Can you describe your business?

Multiband is a technical sales organisation specialising in antennas for machine to machine communication over satellite. Iridium, a LEO mesh satellite network is our preferred transcieving partner. We work as manufacturer’s agents for 5 antenna and Radio Frequency technology companies based in Italy, South Africa, Slovakia, Israel and the UK. Our main markets are North America, Australia and New Zealand where satellite comms are required for environmental and industrial monitoring in remote hinterlands.

Our secondary business leverages our knowledge of telemetry and telematics. ‘Multitrack Belt Scales Monitoring’ is a cloud based application for aggregate production companies. Developed and hosted here in Poland, it provides production and performance data via the mobile networks to handsets and desktops. While Ireland the the UK mainland are our main market, we are operational anywhere there is a GSM signal. Our customer base includes largest aggregate, cement and recycling operators such as CRH Roadstone, CRH Tarmac, Harrington Concrete, Kilsaran International, Breedon Group, Aggregate Industries, DUO plc, Kiverco, Mick George

Why do clients choose your business?

Antenna design is a complicated art and often the last part of the radio system design. Multiband in this respect provides excellent technical sales support based on many years of experience coupled with close relationships with the factories and satellite network operators.

On the other hand, Multitrack is a very niche product with few competitors. The product inception was serendipitously created – CRH Polska wanted to know if some of their mobile screening plants were being operated during the night shifts – from this conversation in 2008 a cloud based platform to quantify and qualify production and performance has evolved.

How do you add value to your client’s wants and needs?

Multiband has probably the best range of Iridium antennas on the market, we save the customer time by understanding what their specific RF issue is and resolve it. It saves them hundreds of engineering hours.

Does your Business have any surprising facts or interesting achievements?

Most of our North American customers are very surprised to find that they are talking to an Irishman in Poland – it’s now used as a unique sales tool rather than something negative.

Thoughts regarding the business environment in Poland in 2021?

Poland is a tough place to do business. They are a cautious buyer and take time to warm to a new supplier.

In truth satellite comms are simply not popular in Poland as there are terrestrial networks that will do the same job and for much less. But Poland is a good place from which to operate a global business. Warsaw is a good European and North American hub, the telecoms infrastructure is much better than Ireland, and I’m 1-2 hours away from my key supply partners by plane.

Any advice for new businesses starting up?

If you must set up something, know that Polish entrepreneurs can be ruthless and young educated Poles are surrounded by job offers in a growing economy, they chop and change jobs.

Consider a Polish partner rather than setting up. The level of business bureaucracy is substantial and very hard for a non-Pole to navigate. In my opinion, there is a massive difference in cultures and much is lost in translation. Your expectation will be that everything will be done through English which, in times of dispute, will not work in your favour. Therefore protect your IP and focus the relationship on sales rather then on product development.

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