Sierra Wireless

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Sierra Wireless, Inc.
IndustryCommunication equipment
FoundedRichmond, British Columbia (1993)
HeadquartersRichmond, British Columbia, Canada
Key people
Kent Thexton, CEO

David McLennan, CFO

Philippe Guillemette, CTO
ProductsMobile broadband devices, embedded wireless modules, wireless gateways and routers, M2M cloud platform
RevenueIncrease615 million USD (2016)[1]
Number of employees
1400 (2018)[1]

Sierra Wireless is a multinational wireless communications equipment designer and manufacturer headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. It also maintains offices and operations in California, France, Guangdong and Hong Kong.[2]

Sierra Wireless sells mobile computing and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications products that work over cellular networks. Sierra Wireless sells 2G, 3G and 4G mobile broadband wireless modems, routers and gateways as well as software, tools, and services.

Sierra Wireless products and technologies are used in a variety of markets and industries, including automotive and transportation, energy, field service, healthcare, industrial and infrastructure, mobile computing and consumers, networking, sales and payment, and security. It also maintains a network of experts in mobile broadband and M2M integration to support customers worldwide.

The company's products are sold directly to OEMs, as well as indirectly through distributors and resellers.[3]


Sierra Wireless was founded in 1993 in Vancouver, Canada. In August 2003, it completed an acquisition of privately held, high-speed CDMA wireless modules supplier, AirPrime,[4] issuing approximately 3.7 million shares to AirPrime shareholders.[5] On March 6, 2007, the company announced its purchase of Hayward, California-based AirLink Communications, a privately held developer of high-value fixed, portable, and mobile wireless data solutions.[6] Prior to the May 2007 completion of its sale to Sierra Wireless for a total of $27 million in cash and stock, AirLink had reported $24.8 million in revenues and gross margin of 44 percent.[7]

On August 5, 2008, Sierra Wireless announced its purchase of the assets of Junxion, a Seattle based producer of Linux-based mobile wireless access points and network routers for enterprise and government customers. Terms of the acquisition were not made public.[8]

In December 2008, Sierra Wireless made a friendly all-cash bid to acquire Wavecom, a French M2M wireless technology developer. The sale was completed for $275 million.[9]

On August 1, 2012, the company announced it had completed its acquisition of SAGEMCOM's M2M business in a cash transaction of EUR44.9 million plus assumed liabilities.[10]

In November 2012, Sierra Wireless was recognized as an M2M market leader by market research and intelligence firm, ABI Research. Based on the company's aggregated revenues, ABI found that Sierra Wireless held a 34 percent share of the M2M module market.[11]

On January 28, 2013, it was announced that Sierra Wireless had entered a definitive agreement to sell all assets and operations related to its AirCard business to NETGEAR, Inc. for $138 million in cash plus approximately $6.5 million in assumed liabilities as of December 31, 2012.[12]

On April 3rd, 2017, Sierra Wireless announced its acquisition of GlobalTop Technology's GNSS embedded modules business for $3.2 million.[13]

Patents and technology[edit]

Sierra Wireless has been granted more than 550 unique patents for an array of technologies ranging from built-in antennas and product form factors, to battery power usage and management and network efficiency improvements. The company currently has patents pending in the US, Europe, Asia, Australia, Mexico, and South Africa.[14]


Sierra Wireless offers products and solutions in four primary areas:[15]

  • AirLink, wireless gateways used in industrial, enterprise, and automotive applications. AirLink intelligent gateways and routers use embedded intelligence and the ALEOS Application Framework to support remote management, control, and configuration, and application services for vertical market solutions.
  • AirPrime, embedded modules providing cellular connectivity for wireless mobile computing and M2M often used by device manufacturers to bring new 2G - 4G, GSM, and CDMA devices to market via PCI Express MiniCards, surface-mount modules, modem-only functionality, and programmable devices.
  • AirVantage, a cloud-based application facilitating M2M service delivery consisting of the AirVantage Management Service M2M device management application, and AirVantage Enterprise Platform for collecting, sharing, and integration of machine data using API standards, as well as development and deployment of M2M applications.
  • SAGEMCOM GSM-R terminals, wireless devices used in railway communications and applications.

Until the 2013 sale of all assets and operations,[12] Sierra Wireless also manufactured and marketed AirCard, mobile broadband devices permitting users to connect notebooks, netbooks, and other electronics to the Internet over 3G and 4G mobile broadband networks via PC or express card slots, USB ports, or mobile WiFi hotspots.

Community support[edit]

Sierra Wireless is an active United Way of the Lower Mainland supporter. For its efforts, the company was recognized with United Way Employee Gold Awards and a 2002 Award of Excellence.[16]

In 2003, Canadian public university Simon Fraser University announced the creation of the Sierra Wireless Chair in Wireless Communication,[17] which was funded through annual donations for a three-year period. Upon completion of the original three-year term, the company extended its partnership with the university by establishing an endowed Sierra Wireless Professorship in Mobile Communication.[18] In partnership with the university's School of Engineering Science in the Faculty of Applied Sciences, the Sierra Wireless Mobile Communications Laboratory was opened in November 2012.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sierra Wireless Corporate Presentation" (PDF). Sierra Wireless.
  2. ^ "Sierra Wireless - Contact Us". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  3. ^ "Sierra Wireless 2006 Q1 Quarterly Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on October 19, 2006. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  4. ^ Dano, Mike. Sierra Wireless shares up on AirPrime acquisition, RCR Wireless, June 17, 2003.
  5. ^ "Sierra Wireless to acquire AirPrime for CDMA Modules". June 16, 2003. Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  6. ^ "Sierra Wireless announces acquisition of AirLink Communications". March 6, 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  7. ^ "Sierra Wireless, Inc. Completes Acquisition of AirLink Communications, Inc". May 25, 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  8. ^ "Sierra Wireless Completes Asset Purchase Agreement with Junxion, Inc" (Press release). Sierra Wireless. August 5, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  9. ^ "Transcript of Conference Call Held on Dec 2, 2008 at 8:00 A.M. (EST)". Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  10. ^ "Sierra Wireless, Inc. Completes Acquisition Of Sagemcom M2M Business". Retrieved September 28, 2012.
  11. ^ "Sierra Wireless Corporate Overview". Archived from the original on January 26, 2013. Retrieved November 29, 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  12. ^ a b "SIERRA WIRELESS ENTERS INTO AGREEMENT TO SELL ASSETS OF AIRCARD® BUSINESS TO NETGEAR" (Press release). Sierra Wireless. January 28, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  13. ^ "Sierra Wireless acquires GlobalTop Technology GNSS modules business".
  14. ^ "Sierra Wireless, Inc". Patents Observer. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
  15. ^ "Products & Services". Sierra Wireless. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  16. ^ "Company Awards". Sierra Wireless. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  17. ^ "Sierra Wireless Mobile Communications Lab". Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  18. ^ "Senate Committee on University Priorities Memorandum" (PDF). Retrieved October 2, 2012.
  19. ^ "Collaborators drawn to new wireless communications lab" (Press release). Simon Fraser University. November 28, 2012. Retrieved March 27, 2013.

External links[edit]