Ranked among the top five fastest-growing companies last summer by Profit magazine, Calgary-based wireless vendor Wi-LAN Inc. announced Friday it is cutting 55 per cent of its staff in order to improve the company’s cash flow.

The change is being made to conserve cash – approximately $500,000 a month – and to sustain its sales growth projections in the fixed wireless access market, according to Wi-LAN.

“Our goal is to live within our means until we see a turn around in this market we are addressing,” says Hatim Zaghloul, Wi-LAN’s president, chairman and CEO, in a prepared press statement. “We are weathering a storm and we are taking the necessary steps to guide ourselves through it.”

Wi-LAN is reducing its staff to approximately 55 people, excluding Til-Tek, UC Wireless, and DTS. With this reduction in staff and planned reductions in other operating expenditures, management expects to maintain a minimum cash balance of $3 million over the next 12 months.

“I have vigorously examined the finances and operations of Wi-LAN,” said Steve Bellamy, Wi-LAN’s chief financial officer. “We are confident that we are able continue to operate within our existing cash resources without recourse to external financing sources.”

Wi-LAN met its third quarter guidance of $7.0 to $9.0 million in broadband wireless revenue, which was revised upwards on July 5, 2001 from the $6.0 to $9.0 million forecast in May.

Wi-LAN is also reaffirming its wireless revenue target of between $8.0 and $10 million for the three months ending October 31, 2001.

Officials at Wi-LAN say they will now focus on delivering its high-speed wireless networking products to developers of large-scale networks in numerous developed and developing countries.

Wi-LAN specializes in high-speed Internet access, LAN/WAN extension, and broadband wireless access. With sales in over 50 countries worldwide, Wi-LAN has achieved a significant position in the burgeoning wireless market, and has earned a global reputation for providing leading edge wireless communications technology and products that are efficient and cost-effective.

The company also has two patented wireless technologies, wide-band Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (W-OFDM) and Multi-Code Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (MC-DSSS).

Wi-LAN is at http://www.wi-lan.com