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Techno visionaries - Afflicting the world through technology  |  Written by jamaicaobserver.com   |  Monday, 26 January 2004


Copia now boasts an elite clientele such as The Hilton Kingston Hotel, Ritz-Carlton, Rose Hall Hotel, Courtleigh Hotel and Suites, Knutsford Court Hotel, the Ministry of Local Government, the Mandeville Hospital, Grace, Kennedy, First Global Bank among others.

"I want to apply the business plan in other Caribbean countries, then Latin America. Developing countries have the best opportunities for technology, there is more room to grow," he says.

Wehmeyer who studied Management at Bridgewater State College in Massachusetts decided to bring his expertise to Jamaica and establish his first company in the island, the largest English-speaking country in the Caribbean with lots of business potential, he says. "The telecommunications market was opening up and I thought it would be interesting to invest." Copia which started on March 26, 2001 in a townhouse in Norbrook, St. Andrew is now a six-room flat on the fifth floor of the Island Life Building on St. Lucia Avenue in New Kingston. With a staff complement of six persons, and two working in Montego Bay, St. James.

He states that the challenges being faced by telecommunications companies in Jamaica are similar to those being experienced in the United States. As with deregulation within countries, the experiences will be similar." Companies are forced to share its market force for clients," he says. Still, despite the challenges and competition that are attached to the wireless communications business, and the instability of the economy Wehmeyer is optimistic that Copia will survive.

He reveals that the only time he has been worried about Copia's immovability was during the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, as if there was a continued downfall in visitors to the country it would have affected the company, since he mostly works with hotels.

Copia is also the exclusive distributor in the Caribbean of Micronet products. Micronet, a Taiwan company which Copia has been in partnership with for the past three years, provides advanced technology and standard -based Wireless LAN (WLAN) products enabling computers to network wirelessly. Micronet is also a distributor of GPRS cards, which are facilitated through Copia.

Among his immediate business plans, Wehmeyer wants to increase the awareness of and accessibility to VoIP products in Jamaica. With VoIP persons can make calls from their computers through the Internet at a lower cost than when using a direct telephone line. With VoIP, it changes analog vocals (your voice) into digital data packets. These packets can then be sent over any internet protocol network. When it is received by a phone or computer they are reassembled back into analog signals.

Among these and other ideas that Wehmeyer has he says Copia is expected to achieve greatness.

"There is always new and improved mechanisms within the technological field. Always a need for wireless."