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Continental, Nautel Form Alliance - Radio World

Continental, Nautel Form Alliance

LAS VEGAS: Continental and Nautel are working together in the hopes of growing the North American transmitter businesses of both manufacturers.
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(click thumbnail)Peter Conlon, Adil Mina, Jorgen Jensen and John Uvodich, from left.LAS VEGAS: Continental and Nautel are working together in the hopes of growing the North American transmitter businesses of both manufacturers.

The companies signed a strategic alliance on the Monday morning of NAB2006. Peter Conlon, president of Nautel Ltd., and John Uvodich, president of Continental Electronics, signed the agreement. Uvodich said the two companies, nominally competitors in the transmitter business, had "developed a great rapport."

The companies' booths were located across the aisle from each other at NAB2006. Asked if the arrangement was a prelude to the purchase of one company by the other, both said that was not the case.

In their first joint interview, the leaders of the companies told Radio World that the agreement will allow both manufacturers to offer customers a complete range of HD Radio digital systems and products, while playing to each company's strengths: Continental will be able to offer solid-state Nautel gear in the United States, and Nautel will be able to offer Continental high-power tube equipment in Canada.

"This gives broadcasters single-point access to Nautel's rich expertise in solid-state and digital adaptive precorrection FM exciter designs in conjunction with Continental's cost-effective high-power tube technology employing innovative linearization techniques," they stated in the announcement.

Nautel hardware sold through Continental will have the latter's logo on the front.

The deal has been under specific discussion for at least a year, and Nautel executive Jorgen Jensen and Continental's Adil Mina said they have been discussing possible alliances for several years.

"We were both missing a piece," Jensen said.

"We looked and said, 'There's no overlap,'" Conlon added.

A decision by Continental to use a Nautel exciter in the 816HD transmitter, introduced last year, encouraged more formal cooperation, and the companies said the new agreement "solidified" the exciter's role in that product.

Nautel officials said they had discontinued exclusivity arrangements of its U.S. dealers several years ago. Both companies say domestic transmitter sales have been strong in the past year, with Continental business up 40 percent and Nautel's up 50 percent.

Continental reported $27 million in sales last year, Uvodich said. Conlon did not release Nautel sales figures but said its revenue was "on the same order of magnitude."

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