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26 May, 2006 - 17:20 By Staff Reporter

Sepura solves a software development skills blight

Sepura, the digital radio communications specialist, has solved a software development skills blight that threatened the growth of its Cambridge operation – thanks to Business Weekly’s pulling power.Sepura, the digital radio communications specialist, has solved a software development skills blight that threatened the growth of its Cambridge operation – thanks to Business Weekly’s pulling power.

The company – heading for a London stockmarket float – decided last November to open a Thames Valley operation because it couldn’t find enough people in Cambridge with sufficient software development skills to expand the Cambridge facility.

Since we highlighted the crisis on November 5 it has been fireworks all the way. Graham Matthews, Sepura’s managing director, says the company has recruited 28 new people "as a direct result of Business Weekly’s article" in less than six months.

And he revealed that Sepura would now be hiring a further 40 staff – "and two-thirds of them will be based in Cambridge. We can’t thank you enough."

A new Thames Valley operation went ahead and is doing well, but Sepura is delighted that it has been able to expand its existing software development team in the front line at Cambridge.

With the company securing a stream of new contracts internationally and dramatic growth forecast for TETRA radios over the next few years, it is critical that Sepura keeps on innovating and Cambridge is right at the cutting edge.

Current recruitment centres on roles such as product definition engineer; multiple hardware project manager; principal, senior and other HW engineers; mechanical design engineer; principal, senior and general RF engineers; international business development manager; software, interoperability and technical proposal engineers, a software team leader and a test & integration engineer. Full details are at

Sepura management haven’t looked back since buying the handset business of the Cambridge-based Simoco Digital Systems out of administration four years ago and recently appointed investment bank Goldman Sachs to advise on an IPO.

Sepura designs TETRA (terrestrial trunked radio) terminals – the digital mobile private radio handsets used by the military and emergency services around the world.

The management buy-out of Sepura, led by Matthews, saved 75 jobs, but following continued success around the world, the numbers have more than tripled.

In February, Sepura won Business Weekly’s East of England Business Awards International Trade category.

o RWE Power AG, one of Europe’s largest power producers, has selected Cambridge based Sepura’s TETRA products to help track and manage its coal-based power operations in Germany.

More than 2,000 Sepura terminals will be deployed on a new private TETRA network over the next three years.

The contract was won in conjunction with Frequentis, which specialises in the design and operation of specialist TETRA systems for utility providers.

RWE Power operates several open-cast mines in the Rhein region, using state-of-the-art mining machinery. It also manages several production facilities for coal products and its own private railway, which provides links to the company’s four German-based lignite power stations.

"RWE Power needed excellent coverage and the very highest communications availability," explains Erich Pfaffelmayer, TETRA Director at Frequentis.

"It will be using TETRA to undertake communications for everything from logistics, through to safety. Highly resilient handsets, which offer lone-worker features, were important to the company. A long technology cycle for the whole solution was also essential and Sepura demonstrated a proven technology roadmap."

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