Ottawa’s Edgewater eyes Wi-Fi tech opportunities as remote workers strain networks

Wi-Fi working from home
The sudden shift to working from home means more and more devices are being connected to traditional Wi-Fi technology "that is well past its breaking point," Edgewater says. (Stock image, for illustrative purposes only)

An Ottawa company working to expand the capacity of Wi-Fi networks says its technology is well-positioned to ease the strain being placed on home networks and cable operators by legions of employees around the world working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Edgewater Wireless said Tuesday that it continues to face supply line disruptions caused by “yield issues on silicon” – in other words, problems with output levels from its semiconductor chips – and that addressing the issue will require the company to secure additional capital.

Edgewater is developing “dual-channel” Wi-Fi technology that provides dedicated download channels. Adding dedicated download channels for services with high-bandwidth demands is a more efficient use of Wi-Fi spectrum – something Edgewater officials liken to turning a single-lane road into a multi-lane highway.

In regulatory filings accompanying Edgewater’s third-quarter financial statements, the company said efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic are having a “profound” impact on cable operators and consumers. They’re seeing networks “pushed to do more” with so many households adding devices to their Wi-Fi networks so individuals can work and study from home.

“Traditional Wi-Fi is well past its breaking point,” Edgewater officials said.

The development-stage company reported a quarterly loss of $349,000 in the three-month period that ended Jan. 31. That’s an improvement on the quarterly loss of $813,100 recorded in the same period a year earlier.

The company says additional debt or equity financing is necessary to continue its product development and marketing activities and that the company’s management team “believes it will complete one or more additional financing arrangements.”

Edgewater’s stock price was unchanged at 4.5 cents per share on the TSX Venture Exchange on Tuesday afternoon.