Franklin Telecommunications Corp, (the company) was founded on April 1, 1980 by Frank W. Peters to design and build disk drives for the then newly introduced PC by IBM. Sales the first quarter were $300k, then $3M, $6M &19M for the 3 following years. The Company went public in 1986 by acquiring a communications public company in Irvine CA. The Company moved into design, manufacture and market high speed communications products and subsystems, including wide area networks ("WAN"), Local Area Networks ("LAN") and telecommunications equipment. The Stock was selling at $1.00. The products were designed around the PC and Linux platforms. The Company entered the Voice over Internet Protocol business in 1994 by designing the first “Phone to Phone” system. Others had a Computer to Computer and Computer to phone device. We (the Company) installed 4 hubs in the US (NY, Atlanta, Chicago & LA) as a demonstration facility.
Franklin held a meeting atop the Manufactures Hanover building in NY on Thursday Oct 23, 1997 and invited about 150 “Wall St” brokers and fund managers to attend the Sunset dinner. Coincidentally, the market crashed over 500 point on the DOW that day. This was “BLACK Thursday. However, the show went on without a hitch and the stock went from $0.80 to $10.00 within a week. The company introduced a Data Voice Gateway ("DVG") allowing the Company to provide 'telephone to telephone' long distance telephone service over the Internet and frame relay circuits. From the end users standpoint, there was no hardware or software required, other than a standard telephone. The functional use is similar to using a long distance calling card today.
In June 1998, the Company entered into a joint venture agreement with Megaburst for the operation of telephone services for NATO troops in Bosnia. Operations commenced in August 1998 - during that time General Wesley Clark was head of NATO. After his retirement he interviewed for a board seat at Franklin.
The predecessor of Franklin Telecommunications Corp. (FTC) and it’s operating subsidiary, Franklin Datacom, Incorporated (FDI), was Franklin Systems, founded in 1975. At that time, the founder, Frank W. Peters, envisioned a series of products based upon the emerging technology of personal computers. Experience at both IBM and Jacquard Systems, the first intelligent terminal manufacturer, spawned the ideas behind Franklin Systems. The company was founded five years before IBM introduced the PC and its first product was a Store and Forward Message Switch designed for Telex and TWX applications. Franklin’s product was based on the S100 Bus personal computer, which was the forerunner of the PC. It was sold to a number of banking and public sector institutions; such as, First Interstate, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, State Bank of India, the American Armed Forces Radio and Television Service and many others.
Franklin Systems, Franklin Data Systems and finally Franklin Telecom have all been offshoots of the same basic premise: Open new frontiers in communication technology by utilizing the PC to the fullest. To that end, Franklin Telecom, as a private California Corporation, acquired ABM Computer Systems in 1987 and went public as Franklin Telecommunications Corp. ABM was a California based manufacturer of data communication boards. Franklin combined ABM’s hardware expertise with its’ own experience in packet switching and protocol software development into Franklin. In 1989, two divisions that represented $46 million in sales in the PC area were sold off to concentrate on the communications end of the business. With focus on the technical engineering, Franklin grew steadily, developing a sophisticated line of routers, channel banks, and high speed network interface cards. As a result, they provided virtually all of the components necessary for the end-users operating the Internet.
Franklin Telecommunications was publicly traded over-the-counter under the symbol FTEL. The stock symbols changed over the years to FCM for the American Stock Exchange then FKLT on the OTC. During the fiscal year of 1989, Franklin Telecommunications divested it’s operations as an OEM supplier and value added reseller of personal computers and peripherals in order to concentrate on it’s new data communications business, as was aired on the Financial News Network (FNN) hosted by Bill Griffith, the former host of CNBC Power Lunch.
The company has always been in the communications industry.
1975: Franklin was founded at the beginning of the personal computer industry and has been developing and marketing communications technology since that time. Franklin's first product was a Store & Forward Message Switch designed for automatically transmitting and receiving Telex and TWX international traffic. This product was sold to First Interstate Bank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, State Bank of India, the American Armed Forces Radio & Television Service (DOD), just to name a few.
1980: Exxon Enterprises acquired Franklin for its store forward message switching software. Franklin Telecommunications Corp. was incorporated in 1981.
1983: The founder purchased the company back from Exxon in 1983 and started the PC division of FRANKLIN, selling computers, disk drives and peripherals.
1986: Franklin Telecom became a public company in 1986 by acquiring ABM Computer Systems, a public company manufacturing data communications boards in Irvine, California. Franklin Telecom combined ABM's hardware technology with an experienced packet switching and protocol software development team to create the MPP product line. Franklin Datacom was formed to sell these proprietary products via the sales channels being used by the other divisions. Franklin Datacom was incorporated in 1988 and was held by Franklin Telecom.
1987: The Shamrock Mail Order division was formed in 1987 and grew at a rate of $100,000 per month for 12 months. Shamrock sold the same products as the PC division but under the Shamrock Label at a higher profit margin.
1989: Between 1985 and 1989 Franklin grew to $50 Million in sales from 3 divisions. Franklin Datacom enjoyed a 62% GPM, then and now, while the other two divisions started losing money. During 1989, Franklin Telecom divested itself of its operations as an OEM supplier and value added reseller of personal computers and related products in order to concentrate on its datacom business. The two divisions which were sold were doing about $45 Million in sales and running at a small loss.
1994: NASDAQ changed the trading symbol from "FTCO" to "FTEL" on Feb. 1, 1994 when the company did a one for ten stock split. There were approximately 10.5 million shares outstanding. In Dec. 1994 Franklin acquired 99% of the shares, a manufacturing license and the rights to two patents of LAN Performance Labs, a maker of Fast Ethernet Network Interface Cards (NIC). FTC began shipping Fast Ethernet Network Interface boards in Jan. 1995.
1995: Franklin Internet (FNet) is established as a new division of Franklin, providing direct Internet Service, hardware to other Internet Service Providers. In September the company raised $1,000,000 in cash through a SEC Regulation D section 504 Private Placement of 2,000,000 shares of common stock. There were also 2,000,000 warrants issued at $0.75 if exercised before March 24, 1996 and $1.25 after March 24, 1996 which could raise an additional $1,500,000 if exercised before March 24 or $2,500,000 if exercised following, or a combination average of the two.
1996: In September the company raised $1,000,000 in cash through a SEC Regulation D section 504 Private Placement of FTEL shares of common stock priced at $0.85 per share.
1997: Product development progressed at an unprecedented rate. The Tempest Data Voice Gateway was shipped for beta testing in Oct. 1997. The Tempest System consists of three systems: The DVG, the Authentication, Mapping and Settlement System and the Billing system.
1999: On March 18 at 11:30 FTEL OTC BB started trading on the American Stock Exchange under the symbol FCM.