EXi began life in 1995 in a small office in Manchester with a single contract from Ericsson, the mobile-phone giant. Today it employs about 1,500 people and claims to offer a one-stop solution for telecoms companies across the world.
Founded by two Irish businessmen, Gilbert Little and Larry Quinn, EXi will do everything from installing a mobile-phone network in the desert to integrating the networks of office blocks for Nortel or Nokia. A booming market, combined with a diversification of services and international reach, has driven sales growth of 86% a year, from £11.1m in 1998 to £38.7m in 2000. Like many telecoms firms, EXi was forced to lay off staff in Britain this year.
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