December Manufacturer of the Month: ADC

Each month, Launch 3 Telecom will spotlight one of our many manufacturers.

December’s manufacturer is: ADC


ADC Telecommunications is a manufacturer and supplier of wireline and wireless access network equipment to telecommunication service providers, wireless and broadcast operators. ADC was founded in Eden Prairie, Minnesota during 1935 and has generated a strong presence in copper, fiber, coaxial and wireless. Their reliable equipment helps support the use of internet, video, data, and voice services throughout residences, businesses and mobile communications subscribers.

The origins of ADC begin with the audiometer which is a device built to test hearing. Slowly, the company expanded into amplifiers, transformers, jacks, plugs, patch cords, and jackfields. By the middle of the 20th century, ADC diversified in yet another direction with transformers and filters for power lines, military electronics, telephone jacks, and plugs.

Many companies grow their companies by making significant acquisitions. ADC would merger with Magnetic Controls Company with bantam jacks being the most noteworthy contribution from the deal. By the 1970s, prewired, connectorized jackfields, wired assemblies, and test equipment were rolled out as the hallmark products of ADC. By this time, this company had grown into one of the largest independent suppliers of test boards.

The 1983 divesting of its regional subsidiaries had a large impact on ADC as they became a supplier for the 7 Regional Bell Operating Companies. Over the next few decades, additional acquisitions were made to bolster their accomplishments. ADC would acquire Fibermux Corp, American Lightwave Systems, Saville, Fiber Optic Network Solutions, and OpenCell. Likewise, they sold Kentrox and merged with ITS. From LAN Hubs and Data Multiplexers to FTTX and wireless coverage, each acquisition played a role in ADC success.

ADC’s diversity hurt them as they moved away from purely hardware equipment and expanded into software. The timing was poor as it coincided with the bursting of the dot-com bubble. This would ultimately be a deathblow to the company as they saw years of decline. By 2010, the writing was on the wall and Tyco Electronics acquired ADC for $1.25 billion.

Although ADC is no longer in business, there is a variety of equipment still available at Launch 3 Telecom. Our stock includes products such as the DSX-3 and DSX-4R. You can also find Access Cards, Interconnect Panels, Modular Panels, and Chassis from ADC by contacting us. For more information on ADC equipment, contact Launch 3 at 877-878-9134 or email