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Telecoms, Wireless Headcount Up ­1% in OC

Orange County headcount among the 20 largest telecommunications and wireless companies rose 1.4% to 7,200 over the past year, according to this week’s Business Journal list.

Eight of the companies on the list, which includes a mix of larger national firms and smaller, regional businesses, reported an increase in workers from the prior year.

The most notable change was at Irvine-based Cityside Fiber, which is reporting a 500% increase in headcount to 36 from 6 a year ago.

The company, located at 100 Spectrum Center Drive in Irvine, is building a fiber network from data centers directly to homes and businesses in South Orange County.

“The beauty of fiber is that it’s expensive to deploy but it’s really almost unlimited in the amount of speed and data that can flow through fiber,” Chief Executive Rod Hanson told the Business Journal.

Hanson previously worked at Irvine-based Crown Castle USA, which increased its headcount by 17% to 359, and ranks No. 7 on the list. The company owns more than 40,000 towers across the U.S. to provide cellphone connections.

Blue Violet Networks, a security and communications specialist, is another small company making a big rate of increase in headcount. Employment at the company’s headquarters in Fountain Valley rose 17% to 35 as of July, putting the company at No. 19 in the Business Journal rankings.

Mobilitie to Boldyn

Newport Beach-based Mobilitie, which called itself the largest privately held telecommunications infrastructure company in the U.S. prior to its sale in 2021, has been rolled into a new company, Boldyn Networks, with its U.S. base in Irvine..

Boldyn Networks US ranks No. 11 on the list with 74 local employees, and the global company is looking at investing more than $2 billion in various projects; see next week’s print edition of the Business Journal for more.

Headcount at the four largest companies on the list totals almost 5,000 employees, or about 69% of the total count. The estimated workforce for those four is unchanged from a year ago.

Verizon Communications Inc., which has 1,600 employees primarily working out of an Irvine office, is the biggest on this year’s list.

Companywide, Verizon employs 117,100.

Next are No. 2 T-Mobile USA Inc. with 1,315 workers in Irvine, No. 3 AT&T Communications in Tustin with 1,150 and No. 4 Charter Communications with 850 in Anaheim.

All four have their headquarters outside Orange County, as does Cox Communications, which reported a small increase to 500 employees in Foothill Ranch to rank No. 5.

Notables

UVNV Inc., which provides telephone voice and data communications services, held steady with an estimated 497 employees at its headquarters in Costa Mesa.

Computer networking products maker Lantronix Inc. (Nasdaq: LTRX) in Irvine also held steady with 60 local employees reported, moving up two places to No. 13.

Telematics firm CalAmp Corp. (Nasdaq: CAMP) has an estimated 89 employees at its Irvine base. The company’s CEO, Jeff Gardner, died last month. Jason Cohenour was named interim CEO of CalAmp..

Infinite Electronics, a global supplier of electronic components, bumped up its headcount at its Irvine headquarters by 4% to 206.

The biggest decline was No. 15 China-based TCT Mobile Inc., which slashed its Irvine office in half to 45 workers.

Other businesses fell off the list this year.

Horizon Communications Technologies, which ranked No. 20 last year with 17 employees, filed for bankruptcy and has ceased operations as of last September.

Austin, Texas-based TPx Communications, which last year ranked No. 8 with 150 employees, has pulled out of Orange County.

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